Electric Fuel Participates in German EV Program

January 19, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Electric Fuel Corp. (New York) recently announced its Electric Vehicle Division has agreed to participate in a cooperative all-electric hybrid vehicle development and demonstration program in Germany. According to the company, the program will be implemented by a consortium comprising major German industrial firms, such as DaimlerChrysler AG and Varta Batterie AG. The German Post, which sponsored an extensive field test of Electric Fuel's zinc-air battery system for electric vehicles from 1995-1998, has also joined the consortium as an advisory partner.The four-year, DM 24 million program will develop and demonstrate a hybrid vehicle design based on DaimlerChrysler cargo vans. The vans will be powered by Electric Fuel's refuelable zinc-air batteries as the main energy storage, together with high-power booster batteries provided by Varta, and ultracapacitors under development by Dornier GmbH, a division of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, and by EPOC AG, formally Siemens Matsushita Components."It is gratifying to know that these important German firms and institutes have sufficient confidence in Electric Fuel's zinc-air technology to base a major consortium project on it," said Yoel Gilon, Electric Fuel's director of EV Technologies. "After the extensive investment made by Electric Fuel and the German Post and its partners during the 1990's, it is also fitting that this important step towards commercialization in Germany should be taken by German companies with generous support from the German federal government."Gilon also said that Electric Fuel is pleased with the technical direction taken by the consortium in combining Electric Fuel's high-energy refuelable zinc-air battery with high-power rechargeable components to create an all electric hybrid that meets all of the requirements of the modern fleet vehicle.Electric Fuel will be paid by the project for providing battery modules and battery refueling services.