There's Still Life in Lead
It might seems strange for a battery engineer of Subhash Dhar's expertise to turn his attention away from lithium ion chemistry and back to lead acid, but that's exactly what he's doing with the help of other engineers he's recruited and start-up funding from Townsend Capital.
In fact, it seems to say a lot about not just the man, but the state of advanced battery technology. He put his first advanced NiMH battery in GM's S10 electric truck while working alongside Stan Ovshinsky, the amorphous materials pioneer, along with his now-deceased wife, Dr. Iris Ovshinsky. From nickel metal hydride, he moved on to lithium ion, helping run the technology side of Ener1, and then joined Envia Systems.
A year ago, he started Energy Power System, founded on the idea that the oldest, lowest-cost battery chemistry -- lead acid -- still had life in it as a power battery for use, initially, in micro-hybrids like the Buick LaCrosse with e-Assist, and then eventually in tandem with lithium as in a hybrid battery configuration where the EPS battery handles the power (acceleration and regeneration) needs of the vehicle, while the lithium side delivers the energy for range.
Without revealing too much about the technology, itself, Dhar intimates that their lead battery is configured differently than your typical car battery both in terms of its internal chemistry and how it's constructed. The aim is for a low cost battery that can help eliminate any substantial price difference between a standard model automobile and its automatic stop/start micro-hybrid counterpart.
One technical note, periodically during the three-part video, the audio becomes somewhat garbled and noisy, we assume due to Skype network traffic. We tried multiple times to eliminate it, but had to eventually go with what we had to work with. We extend our apologies to our viewers.
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