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CSIRO's-invented UltraBattery goes global in the auto sector

09 October, 2008

The CSIRO-invented UltraBattery is set to have a global impact on greenhouse gas emissions after Japan’s Furukawa Battery Company, which has already begun production of the UltraBattery, and US manufacturer, East Penn, today signed an international commercialisation and distribution agreement for the technology.

CSIRO’s UltraBattery combines an enhanced-power negative electrode and a lead acid battery in a single unit and has applications for low emissions transport and renewable energy storage.

The exclusive sub-license agreement will see the UltraBattery distributed by East Penn to the automotive and motive power sector throughout North America, Mexico and Canada while Furukawa Battery Company will release the technology in Japan and Thailand.

Previous tests show the UltraBattery has a life cycle that is at least four times longer and produces 50 per cent more power than conventional energy storage systems. The technology is approximately 70 per cent cheaper than the batteries currently used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).

“The UltraBattery is an exciting product and CSIRO is delighted to be working closely with two leading manufacturers to introduce the technology to the automotive market on a global scale,” he said.

Director of the CSIRO Energy Transformed National Research Flagship, Dr John Wright, is pleased to see an Australian-developed technology gain attention on a world stage.

“This technology could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector by lowering the cost of hybrid electric vehicles and increasing their uptake, meaning that we could be looking at success on both commercial and environmental fronts.

“The UltraBattery is a satisfying example of CSIRO innovation having international impact and reinforces the valuable link between quality research and commercial development.”

The technology is scheduled to be commercially available in the automotive market and for motive power applications throughout Japan, Thailand, North America, Mexico and Canada within two years.

The UltraBattery is not yet licensed in Australia for automotive applications. CSIRO is accepting expressions of interest for manufacture and distribution of the technology in this region.

UltraBattery technology also has applications for renewable energy storage from wind and solar. CSIRO is part of a technology start-up that will develop and commercialise battery-based storage solutions for these energy sources.

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