AllCell Technologies, LLC, a Chicago-based Lithium-ion battery pack manufacturer for smart-grid, autonomous and light electric vehicle applications, and LG Chem Ltd. have developed a high performance long lasting Li-ion battery for material handling applications. The battery is built with LG’s cylindrical 18650-format Li-ion batteries and AllCell’s proprietary passive thermal management technology with phase change composite (PCC) (earlier post).

The battery is designed as a drop-in replacement for lead-acid batteries with fast charge/discharge capabilities, 4-5 times longer life, robust fuel gage, hot environment resilience, and no standard maintenance requirements.

A base model (26V, 93 Ah) with CAN bus communication has been recently certified for air shipment (i.e. IATA/UN 38.3 testing) and is currently available for field testing with strategic partners in the material handling market.

In a field traditionally dominated by lead acid technology, lithium-ion is emerging as an attractive alternative due to its fast charge capability. The ability to perform high rate charges throughout the day eliminates the need for customers to swap batteries during multi-shift operation, greatly reducing battery inventory cost and space. This capability is further enabled by the growth of autonomously guided vehicles that can optimize charging time and never forget to charge when idle.

A Navigant Research report estimates that revenue from fuel cells, fast chargers, and Li-ion batteries in the material handling market will be $556 million in North America by 2020, compared to $121 million in 2013. Industry leaders such as Kiva, Toyota-Raymond, and Hyster-Yale have announced products or product testing with lithium-ion batteries.

(This news story is from Green Car Congress)