FRANCE'S SAFT: ALL CHARGED UP ABOUT ELECTRIC VEHICLES
I read with great interest "Electric Cars" (Cover Story, May 30). However, I must point out that you missed a significant technology in your article, i.e. nickel-cadmium batteries. SAFT, which is wholly owned by Alcatel Alsthom, is a major manufacturer of nickel-cadmium batteries, which are currently being used in many worldwide electric vehicle (EV) projects.
Through the years, we have developed strong partnerships within the automotive industry, with Peugeot and Citron in particular. The result is that these two car manufacturers, along with Renault, will introduce electric models for 1995. We are also very active in the American marketplace.
We deliver nicad batteries to Chrysler Corp. for use in its electric TE Van. Some 50 vehicles are on the road, being used by utilities all over the country.
We have two R&D program contracts with the USABC (U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium) for the development of new technologies for the next generation of EVs. One deals with nickel metal hydride batteries, the other with lithium aluminum iron disulfide batteries. Both contracts (worth a total of $35.1 million) are managed by our research labs based in Cockeysville, Md.
We have also invested in a new line for manufacturing batteries for the EV market. This line, based in our Valdosta (Ga.) facility, will start production soon.
We are committed to EVs and have the technical and financial muscle to make good on our commitments.
Chairman and CEO