Advanced Nickel Zinc technology meets HEV requirements
Clean Technology 2008

Advanced Nickel Zinc technology meets HEV requirements

J.A. Carcone
Powergenix Company, US


HEV-PHEV and Mobility PowerGenix’s nickel-zinc technologies offer many compelling benefits for use in hybrid electric vehicles and other mobility applications. Nickel-zinc offers the high-power, high-cycle life and required energy density to meet the high torque and discharge demands of many of these vehicles at cost effective performance levels. Nickel-Zinc also performs very well at both high and low temperatures, a key performance requirement for HEV’s. And importantly, nickel-zinc is extremely safe, environmentally clean, and recyclable without any special handling needs. Performance and cost aspects of nickel-zinc technology that compare very favorable to battery technologies used in HEV’s today, or being considered for future use in HEV’s include. • Nickel-zinc technology offers more energy density than the nickel metal hydrate batteries being used in HEV’s today, providing for up to a 40% smaller and lighter battery, very attractive dynamics for HEV applications. • Nickel-zinc battery solutions for an HEV are less expensive than nickel metal hydrate because you need 35+% less cells, and the materials used in a nickel-zinc battery are less expensive than those used in a nickel metal hydrate battery. A Ni-Zn battery uses half of the nickel required in a Ni-MH battery. • Expensive safety power control systems and manufacturing processes required by lithium-ion batteries are not necessary for a nickel-zinc battery, making a nickel-zinc about  the cost per watt hour of a lithium-ion battery. • The materials used in nickel-zinc batteries are not combustible, so they can not explode, making them inherently much safer than a lithium-ion battery • Both nickel and zinc are widely available and economically recoverable at levels needed to meet the expected large increase in demand to sustain a worldwide HEV market. It is unclear, how a large increase in demand for lithium would impact the availability and price of Lithium. Worldwide Lithium reserves are concentrated in South America and China, while the US and rest of the world has limited reserves of economically recoverable lithium. PowerGenix intends to exploit the nickel-zinc price/performance, form and safety advantages for HEV and other light weight mobility applications. PowerGenix is currently developing a nickel-zinc D cell for use initially in smaller mobility applications such as scooters and power-assisted bikes. PowerGenix will then further develop this Ni-Zn D cell technology with select strategic partners for use in HEV’s as an alternative to nickel-metal hydrate and lithium-ion.