300 Hires at Midland, Mich. Plant for China’s Hybrid Kinetic Group,
Which Is Taking First Lithium Titanate Cells by Former Dow Kokam
Michigan’s Xalt Energy is busily training approximately 300 new employees to fulfill a billion-dollar contract to supply large-format lithium ion battery cells to China’s Hybrid Kinetic Group for all-electric buses.
The deal expands Xalt’s portfolio from NMC/nickel manganese cobalt cells in production since 2012 to lithium titanate cells.
Production of the new lithium titanate cells for the HK Group is to begin during this year’s third quarter. Each of the HK buses will have battery packs ranging from 68 to 100 kilowatt-hours, “which can be recharged in less than 10 minutes,” Xalt says. The battery buses will be leased to municipal transit operators throughout China.
‘Xpand’ Battery Packs to Launch This Year
Separately, Xalt is preparing a new family of liquid-cooled battery packs dubbed Xpand and Xpand+, says sales and marketing VP John Warner. Six different configurations using different size lithium titanate and NMC cells are planned.
Xalt, the former Dow Kokam, notes that it has enjoyed “great support” from the U.S. Department of Energy, the State of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Treasury, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, as well as the City of Midland.
“To date, Xalt has invested more than $600 million in its world-class, fully-automated flexible lithium chemistry -based manufacturing facility in Midland,” the company says.
Xalt customer include New Flyer for a new all-battery bus now in trials (F&F, October 31, 2014) and the FIA Formula E battery electric race series (F&F, July 13). The firm also supplies cells for large marine systems.
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Source: Xalt Energy with Fleets & Fuels follow-up