A locally developed and safer lithium battery will be used to power a China Motor Corp (中華汽車) electric scooter, which will hit the market on Thursday.
The lithium battery, developed by Amita Technologies Inc (有量科技), is safer in event of a collision as it will not catch fire, company president Jim Cherng (程敬義) said at a press conference on Thursday last week.
Cherng attributed the battery’s safety to self-terminated oligomers with hyper-branched architecture (STOBA) technology, which was developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) and received the R&D 100 award, also known as the “Oscars of innovation,” in 2009.
The battery weighs 9.5kg, 6.5kg lighter than its predecesor, and is half the size of other lithium batteries, Cherng said.
The research institute has also licensed the STOBA technology to four other local lithium battery makers — E-One Moli Energy Corp (能元科技), Lion Tech Co (精極科技), Synergy ScienTech Corp (興能高科技) and EXA Energy Co (動能科技).
“Currently, most lithium batteries are imported. With the STOBA technology we aim to substitute half of the imported lithium batteries with locally produced batteries by 2020, creating a market value of NT$35 billion [US$1.18 billion] a year by then,” said Lin Chiun-neng (林全能), director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Department of Industrial Technology.
China Motor sold 5,566 units of electric scooters last year, accounting for 69 percent of the market share, trailed by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業), which had 10.25 percent of the market share.
China Motor president Liu Hsin-tai (劉興臺) said the company’s electric scooters are priced between NT$35,000 and NT$45,000 each, as the government provides cash subsidies to encourage consumer purchases.
Consumers can receive government subsidies of between NT$10,200 and NT$13,000 from the economic affairs ministry and the Environmental Protection Administration.
Some local governments provide subsidies of between NT$3,000 and NT$15,000 to consumers per purchase under certain conditions.
Consumers can also enjoy an exemption of commodity tax, which is 15 percent of the prices of electric scooters, according to the ministry.
The scooter equipped with STOBA lithium battery will go on sale on Thursday, Liu said.