PowerGenix Batteries Exceed DOE and SAE Safety Tests for Hybrid Vehicles

May 10, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

PowerGenix announced that the company’s cells have met international safety standards established by the Department of Energy FreedomCar and Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE). These tests are the most widely accepted industry standards for ensuring the safety of rechargeable batteries in electric and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). This benchmark takes NiZn a step closer to commercialization in HEV applications by proving the batteries’ safety in extreme situations.

Batteries are subjected to extreme conditions in vehicle use. Recent events, including a fire in an electric taxi in Hangzhou, China, have highlighted the safety risks of other advanced battery chemistries. As such, meeting safety standards for rechargeable batteries, as prescribed by FreedomCar and SAE, is mandatory in the United States and Europe. These standards are increasingly becoming a de-facto requirement for ensuring vehicle safety worldwide. Abuse testing is performed to simulate the chemical behavior of batteries in typical driving environments as well as extreme conditions. Batteries must pass all safety inspections in order to meet demanding customer requirements, including nail puncture, crush and thermal stability procedures.

"As automakers seek more cost-effective batteries for HEVs, they’re unwilling to compromise safety," said Dan Squiller, CEO of PowerGenix. "Coupled with NiZn’s performance advantages, the unique safety characteristics of our batteries make them an optimal solution for HEVs."

The materials in PowerGenix’s batteries are inherently stable and nontoxic, demonstrating lower European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR) hazard levels during testing and posing none of the combustibility risks of lithium-ion cells. These safety merits enable significant cost and complexity reductions for customers, including less expensive and streamlined manufacturing processes, pack integration and safety and power control systems. The high power of PowerGenix NiZn batteries make them a better performing alternative to the nickel-metal hydride cells used in most HEVs. PowerGenix offers battery solutions for micro-hybrids, mild and full hybrids.