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GERMANY: Porsche offers li-ion starter battery

By just-auto.com editorial team | 23 November 2009

Porsche is claiming to be the first automaker to offer a lithium-ion starter battery but it cannot be used in temperatures below 0C (32F).

Weighing less than 6kg (13lb), the new battery is over 10kg (22lb) lighter than a conventional 60Ah lead acid battery.

It will be a EUR1,904 (in Germany) factory option for the lightweight 911 and Boxster models from January 2010.

The battery is delivered as a separate unit together with the car and can be fitted as an alternative to the regular, conventional starter battery.

The cars are delivered with both battery types for year-round use.

Porsche said lower weight was the main reason for developing the new battery.

Only about 30% of the total capacity of a conventional car battery is actually available for practical use due to the configuration of the system but that does not apply to the lithium-ion battery which consistently offers almost 100% of its capacity.

Better starting and faster charging are among the benefits.

The lightweight battery is made up of four cells and integrated control electronics.

Retrofit versions will be sold from February 2010 priced at EUR2,499 in Germany.