PowerGenix, a developer of Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries, announced that it has entered into an innovation contract with PSA Peugeot Citroen Automobiles. Peugeot will conduct an evaluation of NiZn batteries as a replacement for lead-acid in stop-start vehicles.
Stop-start technology is one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of optimizing fuel economy. Current estimates put stop-start efficiency improvements at around 5-8 percent, while next generation systems may achieve savings as high as 12-15 percent.
In Europe, the technology has already been widely deployed and 70 percent of all vehicles sold by 2017 are expected to carry stop-start as a standard feature.
Lead-acid batteries are the most common choice because they are low-cost, easily available and relatively safe. NiZn batteries offer higher energy density and higher charge acceptance and could be a good alternative choice in the future.
“NiZn holds the potential to provide an ideal replacement for lead-acid by reducing the weight and CO2 emissions of our stop-start engine vehicles. This study marks PSA Peugeot Citroen Automobiles’s interest in working closely with PowerGenix to validate the promise of NiZn technology,” said Bernard Sahut, innovation team manager for PSA Peugeot Citroen.
As part of this innovation contract, Peugeot Citroen will verify several aspects of performance improvements, including high sustained charge acceptance, weight savings and service life improvements for use in stop-start vehicle applications. It will also investigate battery sizing, cost projections, in-service life evaluation and safety analysis of the batteries, with tests performed under wide temperature ranges to validate NiZn’s performance at extreme temperatures.
At completion of the contract term, PowerGenix expects the NiZn batteries to be fully tailored for Peugeot and ready for integration into vehicles.
“This is a promising milestone for NiZn, which is poised to capitalize on a rapidly expanding market for stop-start technology,” said Salil Soman, Director of Systems Engineering at PowerGenix.