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Old 12-22-2009, 03:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What ever happened to Firefly Energy batteries?

There was a fair amount of buzz in the EV community a year or two ago about the batteries this Peoria, Illinois company was supposed to produce. Lead acid, but with carbon foam instead of lead plates which the company says:
  • offers superior power density,
  • cold weather performance,
  • sulfation and corrosion resistance,
  • dramatically extended cycle life,
  • plus it's lighter than a comparable all-lead battery
Haven't seen mention of them on the EVDL since early 2009. Not a good sign.

Their web site - Home - fireflyenergy.com - shows that they've gotten more defense contract money, but that they were turned down for consideration by the US Department of Energy for advanced battery research funding.

It's unclear if their "group 31" truck batteries (for hotel loads) are commercially available yet (beyond trial customers):



Specs: http://www.fireflyenergy.com/images/...-%20110909.pdf

It's supposed to have over twice the cycle life of a comparable AGM battery, even at 80% DOD usage.

And this is their "3D" battery, where only the negative plate is carbon foam. The "3D2" battery (both plates = foam) is supposed to be even better.

Four of these 112 Ah batteries (4x12x112 = 5.4 kWh pack) might even work in the ForkenSwift (my average energy usage - at the wall - is under 4 kWh per drive cycle). And it would lighten the car by ~250 lbs.

I wonder if the all-consuming focus on lithium chemistry has left this potentially worthy technology in the shadows?

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Old 12-22-2009, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
The $500 Electric Car
 
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I e-mailed them back in October. Here was there their response:

You will definitely see press releases and it will hit the EV blogs as well. Current expectation is limited quantities in late January and ramping up from there.


David Ginder / Product Manager
Firefly Energy Inc. / 6533 N. Galena Rd. / Peoria, IL 61614
Office: 309-222-2640 / Cell: 309-339-7390
dginder@fireflyenergy.com
Home - fireflyenergy.com
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update, Paul.

Hopefully something good transpires in the new year.

Edit: had you asked them specifically about the Group 31 size battery?
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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From their FAQ page:
Quote:
Do you have anything to say to those dedicated enthusiasts who are working on their own EV conversion projects?
We are passionate “car guys”, and we’d love nothing more than to offer a battery for the enthusiast. Having said that, our corporate growth strategy is to work with flagship corporations who have a key need in terms of battery performance for their end products. As a small, young company, we must concentrate our resources on those areas that will give us the greatest return on our investment. We are on the record as being in dialogs with a number of global automotive manufacturers. It's our hope that one or more of these discussions will bear fruit and ultimately lead to the availability of our technology to the EV enthusiast. Realistically, however, we’re a couple of years away from that.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
had you asked them specifically about the Group 31 size battery?
Not specifically, but IIRC it was around the time they announced they started testing in big rigs with that size; my question was about using that technology in an EV- not that I had (have....will ever have) enough money for them, but I had daydreams that they would want to use my car as a testbed for their new system. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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From what I could tell, the Group 31 was the only battery they were going to start off with. A few months ago their website had pricing and it was about $550 a battery, which scared me. That ends up being the same price as an equivalent 100 Ah LiFePO4 cells.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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SilveredWings: I read that as well & understand the company's needs to work with large markets, not individual EV owners.

But there's really no reason an EV owner couldn't buying the group 31 truck battery from a truck supply company if they ever become commercially available.

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