A federal grant amounting to $32.5 million was awarded to East Penn Manufacturing, a small firm in Pennsylvania. This funding will be used for the developing and pushing for the Australian UltraBattery which is a technology that can be used for hybrid vehicles.
The UltraBattery is a project of CSIRO or Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization based in Australia. The battery is capable of delivering more power with lower resistance compared to the latest known technology. This is achieved by forming a single unit using a super capacitor together with a battery made of lead acid.
The company was able to simplify the process of generating and storing power by combining the lead acid fuel cell and the super capacitor which traditionally has been implemented as separate units.
East Penn sees a big market in using this UltraBattery for powering hybrid vehicles which makes use of electric motors or which may utilize regenerative braking. The lifespan of the UltraBattery is also better than NIMH batteries used by some hybrid technologies.
The UltraBattery is expected to reduce costs, improve cycle life, and be more environment friendly since they are easier to recycle compared to Lithium Ion and NIMH batteries.
East Penn was licensed by Furukawa Battery Company to market UltraBattery in North America. The Japanese firm on the other hand got its permission from the Australian CSIRO.