PowerGenix, manufacturer of high performance, rechargeable Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) batteries, announced its entry into the burgeoning micro-hybrid electric vehicle market with its first production prototype product. PowerGenix has begun engineering qualification activities for the new battery with several automotive OEMs and will be fielding demonstration vehicles later this year. A more powerful and robust alternative to lead-acid batteries currently used in these "start-stop" hybrids, PowerGenix's NiZn offering is well positioned to dominate the multi-billion-dollar market opportunity.
"Micro-hybrids are about to become a fact of life in the auto industry. Within four years, almost two out of five new cars sold globally will be micro-hybrids - we're talking about over fifteen million micro-hybrid cars per year," said Dan Squiller, CEO of PowerGenix. "Since Nickel-Zinc uniquely hits the sweet spot of cost and performance for micro-hybrids, we see this as a phenomenal growth area for PowerGenix."
In a time of skyrocketing oil prices and tightening government fuel efficiency mandates, automakers find micro-hybrids fuel economy gains irresistible - major car companies in Europe have already released millions of micro-hybrids. The vehicles feature systems that shut off the engine and power the vehicle's auxiliary functions when the car is stopped, seamlessly restarting the engine when the driver presses the accelerator. The low-cost start-stop system improves fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent and is the most cost-effective vehicle electrification technology. The system is quickly becoming standard in Europe, with automakers in China and the U.S. following quickly to adopt the technology on a mass scale.
PowerGenix's NiZn batteries offer several clear advantages over the lead-acid batteries found in current micro-hybrids. NiZn batteries are half the size and weight of lead-acid batteries, provide better charge acceptance and have a much longer lifespan. These performance advantages mean that NiZn batteries reduce vehicle weight and handle more start-stop events over a longer sustained life, significantly raising micro-hybrid fuel efficiency. Unlike other alternative technologies for start-stop vehicles, NiZn batteries are a single solution, powering all starting and micro-hybrid functions. These advantages, combined with NiZn's inherent low cost, make the PowerGenix solution ideal for start-stop vehicles.
"In China and other markets, vehicle makers will depend on micro-hybrid offerings to meet the new fleet fuel efficiency standards, so they're scouring the globe for a battery solution that can meet the demanding performance and cost requirements of start-stop systems," said Dr. Xu Gang, PowerGenix's managing director for Asia. "Nickel-Zinc meets these requirements and can drive help drive the sales of millions of vehicles in Asia and elsewhere."
PowerGenix has developed and patented a high-power and low-cost Nickel-Zinc battery for power intensive industrial products, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and stationary storage applications. PowerGenix Nickel-Zinc batteries outperform lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in a smaller and lighter form-factor, and avoid the high cost and safety issues associated with lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries - providing a highly recyclable alternative to existing technologies in the multi-billion dollar rechargeable battery market.