Lead-based batteries are making important inroads into the market to supply batteries and energy storage systems for use in heavy-duty hybrid electric trucks.
Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) member Axion Power International recently secured a contract from ePower Engine Systems to supply lead-carbon PbC® batteries and energy management systems. The batteries will be used in the conversion of several Class 8 trucks from internal combustion engines to diesel electric hybrid drive train systems using ePower’s proprietary technology.
The contract is an extension of an earlier agreement between the two companies, and provides further validation for the use of lead-carbon batteries in hybrid electric vehicles.
Axion develops, designs, manufactures and sells advanced energy storage components and devices, including its patented PbC Technology™ at its battery plant located in Pittsburgh, USA. Axion chairman and CEO Thomas Granville said: “ePower testing to date, with PbC batteries, indicates significant savings immediately, with dramatic savings potential going forward.
ALABC President, Dr David Wilson, added: “It is good to see an ALABC member performing strongly. The new generation of lead-based batteries could help achieve significant improvements in the fuel efficiency of the heavy trucking industry.”
The U.S. trucking industry alone consumes more than 38 billion gallons of fuel each year and accounts for 21% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transport activities. While the number of light and medium duty vehicles (Classes 1-7) dominates the market, the fuel consumed by heavy duty (Class 8) vehicles is equivalent to all other groups combined. Applying hybrid drive-train technology to Class 8 vehicles could dramatically improve the economics of the transport industry through reduced fuel consumption and deliver a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and smog-forming pollutants.
To meet the rapidly changing requirements of the industry, epower Engine Systems, based in Florence, Kentucky, has developed a hybrid drive-train technology for Class 8 vehicles which offers the performance, power, range, and affordability required by truck operators. The system has been designed for retro-fitting existing vehicles to extend vehicle life and reduce capital costs.
Notes to editors
The International Lead Association is a membership body that supports companies involved in the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. The ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead and almost two thirds of lead production in the western world.
With offices in the UK and USA the ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support and is focused on all aspects of the industry’s safe production, use and recycling of lead and helps funds bodies such as the International Lead Management Center and ILZRO.
The Lead REACH Consortium is a stand-alone project of ILA-Europe and its activities are funded by 100 member companies.
ILA also supports the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium, which manages the research, development and promotion of lead-based batteries for markets such as hybrid electric vehicles, start-stop automotive systems and grid-scale energy storage applications. Visit www.ila-lead.org
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