PowerGenix, a supplier of automotive nickel-zinc (NiZn) batteries, has completed a product evaluation test plan with the Institute of Automotive Technologies Dresden (IAD). IAD evaluated the capabilities of NiZn batteries used as a 12 V auxiliary power unit for plug-in vehicles, or as a 12 V starter battery for stop-start applications.
“The unique cost and performance advantages of NiZn over other advanced chemistries make it an extremely promising alternative for 12 V lead-acid batteries in electric vehicles and stop-start applications,” said Professor Bernard Bäker, Managing Director at IAD. “This independent technology assessment is a key step in endorsing NiZn battery performance gains for use in PHEV and EV applications, as well as future stop-start models.”
“European automakers in particular are pushing the entire industry toward greater electrification through their commitment to sustainable innovation,” said Salil Soman, VP of Product Marketing for PowerGenix. “Further, the use of lead-acid batteries in Europe is under a temporary exemption from an EU mandate looking to completely ban the use of lead in automobiles, and will likely be regulated in the future. NiZn is the only viable alternative solution when this legislation changes.”
NiZn offers up to 200% more usable energy and 30% lower weight and volume compared to lead-acid batteries, when used to power 12 V auxiliary systems. This is especially significant for PHEVs and EVs, in which less weight translates into increased range. Also, NiZn contains over 90% recyclable materials, with no lead or rare earth metals.
PowerGenix says that major global automakers are working towards adopting NiZn for their 12 V stop-start vehicle applications. Current estimates put stop-start efficiency improvements at approximately 5%, while next generation systems with NiZn may achieve savings as high as 8%.