PowerGenix Nickel-Zinc Battery Passes Critical Testing for 12V Automotive Use

PowerGenix, a supplier automotive Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries, has completed a comprehensive product evaluation test plan with Institute of Automotive Mechatronics GmbH (IAM), a part of the Institute of Automotive Technologies Dresden (IAD), at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD).IAD evaluated NiZn performance capabilities to meet all the requirements of a 12 V auxiliary power unit for plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and all-electric vehicles (EVs), as well as a 12V starter battery for stop-start applications.

“The unique cost and performance advantages of NiZn over other advanced chemistries make it an extremely promising alternative for 12 V lead-acid batteries in electric vehicles and stop-start applications,” said Professor Bernard Bäker, Managing Director at IAD. “This independent technology assessment is a key step in endorsing NiZn battery performance gains for use in PHEV and EV applications, as well as future stop-start models, for major automotive OEMs.”

With up to 200 percent more usable energy and 30 percent lower weight and volume, NiZn offers unique benefits over lead-acid batteries as a replacement for 12V auxiliary systems in PHEVs and EVs. Weight carries a high premium in these vehicle architectures, which in turn imposes limitations on their all-electric driving range capabilities. Furthermore, NiZn contains over 90 percent recyclable materials, with no lead or rare earth metals.

Major global auto makers are working towards adopting NiZn for their 12V stop-start vehicle applications, which are one of the most cost-effective and efficient means of optimizing fuel economy. Current estimates put stop-start efficiency improvements at approximately 5 percent, while next generation systems with NiZn may achieve savings as high as 8 percent. With lower weight, significantly improved service life and high sustained charge acceptance, NiZn is an ideal alternative to lead-acid, offering further fuel economy improvements.

“European auto makers in particular are pushing the entire industry toward greater electrification through their commitment to sustainable innovation,” said Salil Soman, Vice President of Product Marketing for PowerGenix. “Further, the use of lead-acid batteries in Europe is under a temporary exemption from an EU mandate looking to completely ban the use of lead in automobiles, and will likely be regulated in the future. NiZn is the only viable alternative solution when this legislation changes, and we look forward to working together with our customers to meet the demand for better performing, cost-effective, and non-toxic batteries in this sector.”