Emerald Makes the Move to Lithium Ion BatteriesJuly 30, 2019
While the H3-45 chassis has garnered the most attention, it’s not only newsworthy aspect of Emerald’s 2020 model year coaches.
They’re also the first to feature an all-new energy system powered by automotive grade lithium ion batteries from Volta Power Systems.
The system, which utilizes the same battery technology as electric and hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and Tesla, offers enormous advantages over the AGM, or lead acid, batteries used in most Prevost conversion coaches. These include:
Weight – The Volta battery pack weighs just 1/6th as much as the number of lead acid batteries it would take to produce a comparable amount of energy.
Battery life – Lithium ion batteries are designed to deliver over 2,000 charging cycles and still have 80% capacity remaining, compared to the 50 to 250 cycles AGM cells can handle before they require replacement.
Charge rate – Lithium ion batteries charge up to 7 times faster than lead acid.
Power consistency – Unlike lead acid batteries, whose power fades as voltage drops, lithium ion puts out consistent power over its full range.
In addition, we found the Volta battery pack to be easier to install than the AGM cells used in our earlier coaches. And the system is easily expandable, too – if a customer wants to add power capacity, we can simply add more battery packs.
Emerald is only the second major Prevost convertor to make the move to lithium ion, and with so many obvious benefits, it’s hard to figure out why more haven’t followed suit.
“We’re proud to take this step and push ahead with this truly exciting system,” Emerald president and CEO John Walker says. “It puts Emerald solidly at the technological forefront of the industry, and with the support of such innovative dealers as Liberty Coach and TransWest, we’re in great position to stay there.”