OXIS Energy UK and the Danish firm LiTHIUM BALANCE have created a prototype electric scooter featuring a lithium-sulfur battery — with an eye to the potentially lucrative Chinese scooter market.
LiTHIUM BALANCE of course has extensive experience in the sector, having supplied lithium-ion battery management systems for electric scooter applications for around a decade now, but this is apparently the company’s first commercial work with lithium-sulfur battery technology.
The plan is reportedly to manufacture the new lithium-sulfur battery scooters in China. As it stands, roughly 98% of the electric scooters used in China feature lead-acid batteries, and 2% lithium-ion batteries.
A press release from the companies provides more: “The current prototype battery has a capacity of 1.2 kWh using 10 Ah OXIS Long Life cells, weighs 60% less than the current lead acid battery and a significant increase in range. The next stage is to build a 2nd prototype using an improved Long Life chemistry (up to 20 Ah) which will increase battery capacity at a reduced weight. Crucially, production costs will be reduced to meet the demand of the Chinese market. The timescale for this second phase is 4th quarter of 2016.”
The CEO of OXIS, Huw Hampson-Jones, commented: “The development of the 1st Lithium Sulfur E- scooter battery system will allow Chinese manufacturers to circumvent the use of unsafe, toxic and environmentally damaging battery systems such as lead acid and Lithium-Ion. It will allow Chinese consumers to travel longer distances with a significantly greater degree of safety and flexibility and with a battery system that’s 60% lighter — the latter being very important to Chinese commuters living in high rise city apartments. In effect, the market of rechargeable lithium batteries will undergo a quantum leap forward in the adoption of state of the art renewable energy technology. This will contribute to cleaner air quality in the major urban areas of China.”
The LiTHIUM BALANCE CEO, Lars Barkler, commented as well: “This project represents a technology breakthrough for LiTHIUM BALANCE. In cooperation with OXIS Energy we have implemented dedicated BMS algorithms that optimizes the performance of Lithium Sulfur batteries. This could not be achieved with an ordinary Lithium-Ion BMS.”
Current plans call for a release of the technology in China sometime during Spring 2018.