Company Lauds Sustainability, Manufacturability, Recyclability of
Advanced Lead-Acid Batteries
July 24, 2008 – NEW CASTLE, PENNSYLVANIA…Axion Power International, Inc (EBB: AXPW), announced today that Edward. R. Buiel, Ph.D, the Company's Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources this week that new technologies being developed for traditional lead-acid batteries will make them an integral technology in the burgeoning electric car and hybrid automobile markets. These markets, a focus of the world's automobile drivers and manufacturers, have recently drawn more attention from government leaders as well, due to the increasing cost of gasoline fuel. Buiel, testifying before the members of the Committee, said that efficiency, sustainability, manufacturability and the ease of recycling are among the significant advantages advanced lead-acid batteries provide when compared to other battery technologies.
Buiel, one of the nation's leading experts on battery technology, added that advanced lead-acid battery technology is by no means the only battery solution and that other technologies, including lithium-ion, should continue to be developed. At present there are critical issues for some of these other technologies, including safety and over-heating. In addition, the basic raw materials come from countries that are not always aligned with the interests of the U.S., which potentially puts the U.S. in the same position we are in today with respect to oil. Lead, however, is abundantly available in North America through mining of raw lead and recycling of retired lead-acid batteries. Lead is conducive to recycling and the process yields above 95% of the original product.
"Safety concerns and cost favor advanced lead-acid batteries for the near term," Buiel told the committee members, adding that lead-acid battery production, already a decades-old established business in the U.S., should be encouraged and provided with increased research funding by government and private interests. "The United States currently produces an estimated 120 million lead-acid batteries per year and employs over 100,000 people in this industry sector. While hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into other types of battery technology, very, very little has gone into the enhancement of lead-acid batteries."
The purpose of the hearing was to review the status of existing federal programs targeted at reducing gasoline demand in the near term and to discuss additional proposals for further near term gasoline demand reductions. Dr. Buiel testified that Axion has three initiatives currently underway that would decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, including conversion of existing internal combustion engine vehicles into Electric Vehicles utilizing retrofit kits and Axion batteries, and all for a fraction of the cost of a new Electric Vehicle. Dr. Buiel continued, "There are approximately 250,000,000 vehicles in the U.S. For every 1% of this fleet that is converted to Electric Vehicles, there is a corresponding savings of 1.7 billion gallons of gasoline."
About Axion Power International, Inc.
Axion has developed and patented a next generation energy storage device that won the prestigious 2006 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for North America in the field of lead-acid batteries. According to Frost & Sullivan, Axion's new PbC batteries have "the potential to revitalize the lead-acid battery industry by breathing new life into an established technology that was not well-suited to the requirements of important new applications like hybrid electric vehicles and renewable power."
PbC™ batteries use sophisticated carbon electrode assemblies to replace the simple lead-based negative electrodes used by other lead-acid battery manufacturers. The resulting device offers energy storage approaching lead-acid batteries, coupled with far longer cycle life and power output approaching super-capacitors. These low-cost devices recharge rapidly and are environmentally friendly because they use 40% less lead. Axion has been producing prototype PbC batteries at its lead-acid battery plant in New Castle, Pennsylvania for more than a year using the same cases, positive electrodes, separators, electrolytes and manufacturing equipment used in its other lead-acid battery lines. The only notable manufacturing difference is the use of Axion's proprietary carbon electrode assemblies instead of lead-based negative electrodes.
Axion's goal is to become the leading supplier of carbon electrode assemblies for the lead-acid battery industry.