Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries being built in Israel by the two year-old battery start-up EVida will power small but practical and freeway-capable electric cars built in China by the French-German EV manufacturer Mia Electric for sale in Europe, a competitive market for electric vehicles.
The order represents a triumph for Terra Venture Partners, one of Israel’s leading cleantech funds, that had invested half of EVida’s start-up money from private investors – $1 million – in the start-up.
Now, under a $250 million contract with Mia Electric, EVida will supply 10,000 battery packs a year for three new vehicle models through 2016, for a total order of 50,000 8 kWh lithium-phosphate batteries.
Evida has 20 employees in Jerusalem and 200 in China, and the contract to supply Mia will be the first big order for the two year-old California-based, Israeli company that is working on providing cheaper batteries. As CEO Asher Bennet – a 42 year-old Israeli vet and former commander of a Naval diesel-electric submarine – describes it, orders to date had been “negligible” – just in the few millions.
EVida’s 8 kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery packs will supply a 90 km (55 mile) range per charge for these models. Mia Electric makes lightweight EVs that look as if they are just NEVs (speed limited, cheaper, lighter vehicles intended for low speed neighborhood use only) but because theirs can actually go up to 110 km per hour (68 mph) they are freeway-capable.
With the 55 mile range between charges supplied by EVida’s batteries, these become a good option for a city dweller with a reasonable daily commute, who can charge them at night. (Not driving at all is greener, of course!)
Fully charging these lightweight vehicles with regular household 220 V (like a washing machine uses) will take just three hours. The battery pack is also fast charge-capable – in a small way: a ten minute fast-charge top-up can add an emergency get-home supply to add 8 km (4 miles).
Private investors have invested $2 million in Evida. Half the money came from Terra Venture Partners. The six year contract gives EVida time to raise more money to ship the $250 million order, and I’m thinking they might need some cash to meet such a challenge!
More Israeli electric vehicle battery news:
As Better Place Tests Battery Replacement Technology in Japan, Is Better Place the Best Electric Car Company?
Thousands of Hours of Battery, and It’s Green Too
Looking to Spintronics to Make Batteries Last Longer