PHOTO CAPTION: Smith Electric is Valence customer.

Valence Bets on Europe

Valence began to focus on Europe about two years ago, when it realized that automakers there already were launching electric delivery vans and hybrid buses

Published: 06-Jan-2009

Valence Technology has been working to bring phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries to large-format applications such as vehicles since 1989. In other words, it’s essentially been waiting for the electric-car market to take off for nearly two decades.

But the company thinks its waiting period is over. It says it has found a real – not potential – market for electric vehicles across the pond. And company officials are betting that Europe, not the U.S. or Asia, will be the ultimate winner in the race for the electric car.

Valence makes lithium-iron-phosphate and lithium-iron-magnesium-phosphate batteries for hybrid and electric commercial vehicles. It claims its batteries can fully charge and discharge more often than regular lithium-ion batteries, and also are less likely to catch fire (phosphate is a key ingredient in fire extinguishers).


The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.


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