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April 24th, 2007
Today I had the opportunity to catch up with Alan Gotcher, CEO of Altair Nanotechnologies. This Nevada-based company has even begun to excite the competitors. For example, last month at a GM-hosted battery technology briefing for journalists, I asked some of the battery engineers from other manufacturers of lithium ion batteries about Altair Nano, and their design got favorable comments.
According to Gotcher, Altair Nano's particular lithium ion battery chemistry "has a nice balance between surge power and high energy storage." This is the problem that has, apparently, kept the nickel metal hydride batteries from getting the nod for next generation electric cars.
Some of Gotcher's claims are really extraordinary to those of us who have had our eyes on the rapidly evolving market for high-capacity, practical batteries for automobiles. Here are a few: "The battery can operate in temperatures ranging from a low of -50 (farenheit) to a high of +165." "The product appears to have a 15 year life." "The battery has a rapid recharge, less than 10 minutes."
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