AeroVironment: Charging Ahead!
AeroVironment is a Monrovia, Calif.-based pioneer in the conception and development of alternative energy vehicles, having helped to develop the solar-powered GM Sunraycer and the all-electric GM Impact, a prototype for General Motors’ EV-1 electric automobile, and others. If you watched the movie, Who Killed the Electric Car?, their at-home electric vehicle battery charging appliance was prominently featured. So it’s no surprise that they were quite disappointed when the EV-1 project was cancelled by GM after spending so much time, money and energy had been spent to develop the technology. But all was not lost, as it helped serve the electric forklift and airport vehicle business for them. Last week, the company reached another milestone with their fast charge system for electric vehicles, the AV-900, by demonstrating for representatives of the California Air Resources Board the capability of fully charging a lithium chemistry electric vehicle battery pack in less than ten minutes. (The battery pack was developed by Altair Nanotechnologies, designed for use in the Phoenix Motorcar Sport Utility Truck, and at 35kWh (kilowatt-hour), it’s designed to allow the truck to travel more than 100 miles on a single charge.) Joining me to discuss this accomplishment is Charlie Botsford, who does business development for AV’s Energy Technology Center.