Today ExxonMobil took another important step in meeting the world’s growing energy needs by announcing the sponsorship of an all-electric car-sharing and rental program, called AltCar, at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD.
The new electric vehicles at the science center, called the Maya-300, are powered exclusively by enhanced lithium ion battery technology. They are one of the first fleets of all-electric vehicles using this technology in a consumer car-sharing and rental program in North America. ExxonMobil’s battery separator film enables the use of Electrovaya’s Lithium Ion SuperPolymer® battery in the vehicle.
Under the program, Baltimore residents and tourists can rent these vehicles at the science center in the Baltimore Inner Harbor during the day to drive around the city to experience the feel of an electric vehicle. The five-door, five-passenger urban vehicle is equipped with the safety, performance and convenience features common to cars.
“This program is a perfect example of the important role innovative companies and organizations, such as ExxonMobil, Electrovaya and the Maryland Science Center, will play in addressing the world’s need for safe, low emission, fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Sankar Das Gupta, president and chairman, Electrovaya.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon and Malcolm Woolf, director of the Maryland Energy Administration, were in attendance at today’s event, expressing their gratitude and support to Electrovaya and ExxonMobil for their support of the Maryland Science Center.
In addition to the car-sharing program and to help raise awareness among Baltimore residents and science center visitors about the future of energy efficient transportation, ExxonMobil also has developed a state-of-the-art exhibit for the science center that includes hands-on activities for children and a full-scale car that showcases clean transportation technologies currently being used in the automotive industry.
ExxonMobil has invested more than half a million dollars in the car-sharing program and exhibit, including the purchase of the vehicles and development of the exhibit.
“Through innovations like these showcased in this innovative program and world-class exhibit, ExxonMobil is helping make vehicles more efficient,” said Jim Harris, senior vice president, polymers, ExxonMobil Chemical Company. “We believe that advances in technology are the solution to many of the toughest energy challenges. Our scientists and researchers are committed to finding and applying those technologies where we can, including on the car you drive.”
The battery separator film, which is produced at a plant in Nasu, Japan together with Japanese affiliate TonenGeneral, enables battery manufacturers to significantly increase the power, capacity, mechanical strength and safety margins of today’s lithium ion batteries. In addition to the film, ExxonMobil also is working on a number of additional innovative transportation technologies. These include a new blend of synthetic rubber and nylon that enables tires to retain air pressure longer, as well as new lightweight plastics that enable auto manufacturers to improve a car’s performance while maintaining affordability and reducing fuel consumption.
In the past five years, ExxonMobil has invested more than $1.5 billion to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases.