A123 Systems has been a leading Tier 1 supplier of batteries to OEM’s such as BMW, GM, and others since 2001. Until today, their advanced Nanophosphate® lithium ion batteries were only available to manufacturers, never to individuals, small businesses, or race teams. Mavizen, a premier technology supplier to the electric motorsports industry, will now be able to sell A123 batteries to anyone who wants one. This is great news for the growing legions of electric vehicle builders, and not just TTXGP racers.
In today's interview with Mavizen CEO Azhar Hussain, he explained to me that many of the teams racing in TTXGP were forced to use batteries that were not designed for automotive use, and therefore less reliable. Thus is the nature of this nascent industry. Many of the core parts- motors, batteries, battery management systems, were not intended to be run at full capacity for 10-20 minutes. As we've seen throughout the first season, reliability and longevity have been issues for the teams. But that's part of the development process. Without failure, you can never truly know success. So with each component failure or even minor fault, comes new lessons. A123 stands to benefit enormously from the R&D being performed on race tracks around the world in TTXGP.
A123 batteries powered the Lightning, which won the US TTXGP series running a motor from an EV1. You can see the Lightning, and all the other US TTXGP competitors first at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma May 15th. The entire 2011 Season calendar is here. I will be covering most of the US rounds and hopefully the final championship round as well.