ZAP Reveals New Lithium-Ion Battery Technology

March 09, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

ZAP (Sebastopol, CA) announced that it is revealing a new battery technology for electric cars, a lithium-ion chemistry with the potential to quadruple the performance of today's conventional electric vehicle batteries. The new battery technology will be demonstrated in ZAP's new car, the Light Utility Vehicle (LUV), a neighborhood electric vehicle with a top-speed of 25mph that is now available. ZAP is working to launch a LUV line of electric automobiles, which includes freeway-capable automobiles as well as vans, pickups and tractors.

The energy density of the lithium-ion battery has a four-to-one ratio compared to lead-acid batteries, and could extend the range of today's electric cars from 60 miles to 240 miles per charge. The technology is undergoing third-party testing to confirm the performance characteristics.

ZAP CEO Steve Schneider says that the new lithium-ion battery technology is similar to that used in cell phones, but with improvements that increase its energy output. "It allows amperage to go in and out at a rapid pace, which is what you need to drive something as large as an automobile. Really, that is what makes this different, it's the first of its kind that is affordable and available to the public."