Power Tool Batteries, the Gateway to Electric Vehicle Energy Storage

By Jennifer Kho on September 21, 2009

Batteries for powertools and lawn equipment are increasingly looking like the gateway to electric vehicles for the energy-storage industry. Three-year-old battery startup Imara Corp. on Monday started selling its first product, battery cells for power tools and gardening equipment, about a year before it plans to introduce large-format batteries for electric vehicles.

The company claims that battery packs made from its cells — the one just launched for powertools is an 18650 cell, about the size of a AA battery — last longer than other batteries for the same applications. Using the batteries instead of gasoline in a typical 4-stroke lawnmower eliminates the emissions equivalent to 11 SUVs driving on the highway for an hour. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company is on schedule, given it had previously said it had planned to ship its first cells by the fourth quarter.

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