OXIS Energy Ltd has had its batteries commissioned to power the driver-less vehicle because of what the company describes as “its unequaled success in battery science”.
About the OXIS cells.
In 2014 OXIS developed its largest cell capacity – a 25Ah cell which is a world first and is on target to increase that cell capacity to 33Ah by the middle of this year. The energy density shown on its current cells is in excess of 300Wh/kg which is outperforming lithium ion technology that has dominated the performance battery market for many years. The OXIS scientific team is moving on apace and expects to achieve a goal of an energy density in excess of 400Wh/kg by the end of 2016 and in excess of 500Wh/kg by the end of 2018.
Powering a driver-less car.
The Meridian-Navya shuttle vehicle on display is a fully automated, fully electric driverless shuttle provided by Phoenix Wings whose expertise is automated vehicle technology. It is an example of the world’s first commercially available driverless shuttle vehicle and will be used in trials to investigate how this innovative vehicle can support urban mobility, integrate with other transport modes and give an understanding of how the public respond to driverless travel.
To propel the driverless vehicle OXIS will use the 22kWh battery, designed as 2 identical modules, which are configured as a Master and Slave unit, so that they can be installed at separate locations within the vehicle. Each battery is controlled by a sophisticated Battery Management System that can communicate with external systems by a CAN bus link. The LEV battery is based on OXIS Energy’s unique Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) technology. This offers a high gravimetric energy density resulting in a very lightweight battery. When compared to other lithium based chemistries OXIS cells are very robust and have excellent levels of safety when subjected to abuses such as over-discharge, over-charge and high temperatures.
The active ingredients of the Li-S cells are sulfur – a recycled waste product from the oil industry – and lithium. Unlike lithium-ion OXIS Energy cells do not contain manganese, lead or other harmful metals.
The CEO of OXIS Energy Ltd, Huw Hampson Jones, said:
We are delighted to be involved in this project. It is very rewarding to see the fruits of the research and advancements we’ve achieved in our science labs being displayed in this way. We will continue to enhance our battery performance and intend to remain at the forefront of the world’s leading battery technology so that automated transportation will become very much part of our daily lives. Over time, this will eliminate the need for the petrol engine.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.