Green Truck Batteries hit the road

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Firefly Energy announced today that it has begun deploying the first prototypes of its OasisT deep discharge advanced battery to some of the nation’s top trucking fleets.

“This is a very special day for Firefly Energy and the transportation industry,” said Firefly CEO Ed Williams. “Companies from around the world have been in pursuit of batteries that offer the safety and cost-effectiveness of lead acid chemistry but deliver the cyclability and sustainable capacity of advanced battery chemistries.”

Williams continued: “We’ve nurtured and developed this technology for more than five years, and to see it deployed in products is a testament to the exceptional execution of the talented team at Firefly Energy. We’re all very proud of this accomplishment, and are excited about the progress en route to the Q2-2009 commercial release of our first mass-produced Oasis Group 31 batteries.”

The Oasis Group 31 battery was expressly designed to provide the greatest sustainable capacity by consistently delivering exceptionally long run times at consistent throughput levels over a longer number of discharge cycles. This performance provides a solution for numerous applications that require repetitive deep discharges of a battery – most notably the “key-off” power required for supporting truckers’ overnight “hotel loads.”

Increasingly driven by law and fuel savings, reducing engine idle time has become critical to the transportation and trucking industry. The leading solution provider of a no-idle battery-powered HVAC system to the trucking industry, Bergstrom, Inc., will co-market the Oasis battery to ensure that their customers enjoy the longer run times and increased duty cycle of the comfort-support application.

In addition to enabling greater comfort and functionality to the truckers using sleeper cabs, the Oasis battery is expected to save the trucking industry millions of dollars by reducing the amount of diesel fuel used during idling (approximately a gallon per hour). Compared to conventional batteries, the Oasis offers longer run times, faster recharge, better high and low temperature performance, and significantly longer calendar and cycle life.

Firefly has achieved these performance gains by removing portions of the lead metal used in traditional lead acid batteries and replacing it with a microcell composite material that enhances the chemical performance in the battery while resisting degradation. Unlike advanced chemistry batteries, such as those based on Nickel and Lithium, batteries using Firefly’s technology are recyclable through the existing industry infrastructure, an obvious environmental benefit, as well as a big advantage to fleet maintenance and other installer locations.

Firefly’s Senior Vice President and Co-founder, Mil Ovan, summarized the significance of this deployment and the company’s new technology: “The trucking industry, at this critical point in time, is looking for ways to reduce costs while increasing productivity. States across the country continue to introduce anti-idling legislation that restricts engine idling to no more than five minutes an hour, making simple activities a struggle for long-haul truckers.

“The Oasis battery will give them the ability to rest overnight in comfort, save fuel and comply with new anti-idling regulations. Also, because the Oasis will make it easier for drivers to get off the road and get needed rest, it will help make our nation’s highways safer.”

On December 8th, the first four Oasis batteries were installed on a Freightliner truck operated by G&D Integrated of Morton, Illinois. Firefly personnel were on hand to assist with the installation of the batteries, as well as the sophisticated onboard data acquisition system that will permit real-time monitoring of the batteries’ performance throughout the test period on this and all of the upcoming fleet-test installations. Additional deployments of Oasis prototypes to other industries beyond trucking also have commenced.

More information on the Oasis battery is available at the Firefly Energy website at www.FireflyEnergy.com.