Cockeysville, Md., February 23, 2012 — Saft has delivered its new enhanced e6T lithium-ion battery system to the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army, the first 6T battery system to be delivered to two branches of the U.S. military.
The order for the Marine Corps was placed in conjunction with the Marine Corps Improved Battery System program, which aims to demonstrate advanced technologies to improve existing platforms.
Saft received a contract of up to $20 million from the Marines for the IBS program earlier this year. The order for the Army is part of the Manufacturing Technology program, which was founded to provide funding for the development of low-risk, affordable technologies for military systems. Saft also received the Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award for work on the U.S. Army ManTech program in 2010.
The lightweight batteries will demonstrate the performance of Li-ion batteries as compared to lead acid batteries aboard military ground vehicles, and provide engine starting and enhanced communication between vehicle and battery. This order marks the continued effort by the U.S. military to find viable replacements for 6TL lead acid batteries.
Compared to lead acid technology, Saft's Li-ion energy storage solution offers a reduction in weight and an improvement in cycle life, which results in a reduction in maintenance costs. Saft's lightweight 24V Li-ion batteries with CAN Bus communications weigh less than 50 pounds (22.7 kg), compared to lead acid's 88 pounds (40 kg) per 12V battery.
The interest in Li-ion technology as a potential replacement for lead batteries could lead to wide-spread replacement of lead acid on military ground vehicles. This order enables Saft to improve its existing battery platform and bring additional value to the end-user.
As part of the battery system, the CAN Bus communications electronics relay critical battery information such as state-of-charge, battery temperature, and can provide awareness of overall battery conditions.