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   13 Dec 08

   LG Chem and ST together making Li-ion battery suitable for electric/hybrid cars

ST Microelectronics and LG Chem have unveiled details of a new automotive battery pack that significantly extends the potential of electric and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), reducing both petrol consumption and CO2 emissions. The new battery pack combines LG Chem's lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology and the battery management chip manufactured by ST.

Typically, today's HEVs use batteries based on lead acid and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) technology, which use simpler control circuits but are heavier and operate at lower voltages.

Li-ion batteries are widely used in portable consumer electronic equipment because they offer one of the best energy-to-weight ratios - more than twice that of NiMH batteries - with a very low self-discharge while not in use. However, their use in higher power applications has so far been limited because the charge/discharge cycle of Li-ion batteries must be carefully managed to protect the batteries from abuse condition. For this reason, Li-ion batteries must be combined with sophisticated and highly reliable electronic battery-management circuits in high-power applications.

The new Li-ion battery pack from LG Chem manages the charge/discharge cycle by incorporating an advanced battery-management chip, manufactured by ST, which enables safe and long-term reliability of Li-ion battery technology at affordable cost, even in applications as demanding as automotive powertrain systems.

"Accurate and reliable control of the battery charging and discharging cycles makes Li-ion technology applications the established choice for low-power consumer applications as well as a leading contender for future high-power", said Ph.D. MH Kim, the vice president of the Battery Research Institute of LG Chem.

The LG Chem/ST solution reduces the cost and weight and increases the reliability of the Li-ion battery pack, enabling Li-ion technology to address new applications from electric scooters and bicycles to heavy trucks.




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