Hydro-Québec, in collaboration with the French National Research Centre (CNRS - France), license Bathium Canada to use lithium iron phosphate in manufacture of lithium-metal-polymer batteries

MONTREAL, July 5, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Hydro-Québec (Montréal, Canada) and CNRS (France) today announced the signing of a licensing agreement with Bathium Canada (Montréal, Canada), a subsidiary of the Bolloré industrial group (France), for the use of patents related to lithium iron phosphate in the manufacture of lithium-metal-polymer (LMP®) solid-electrolyte batteries.

The use of lithium iron phosphate in battery manufacture offers a very high safety coefficient—an important factor in the development of batteries for markets. In addition, the license guarantees Bathium freedom of supply of this material, which is strategic for the batteries it manufactures. The batteries are used in the Bluecar, the electric car used by Autolib', the world's first electric car sharing service, launched in Paris in December 2011 by the Bolloré Group.

"We are very pleased to note the interest shown by a major French industrial group in the lithium iron phosphate technology developed from French and Québec expertise, in collaboration with the Université de Montréal and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique," said Élie Saheb, Executive Vice President, Groupe Technologie at Hydro-Québec.

"It is highly gratifying to see Bathium industrial choice for LMP®, a technology born from several decades of close collaboration between CNRS and its Québec partners," remarked Pierre Gohar, director of the Direction de l'Innovation et des Relations avec les Entreprises (DIRE) at CNRS. "We are confident that the Bolloré Group, a pioneer with its Autolib' service and many other initiatives, will ensure broad dissemination of this environmentally friendly technology."

According to Jean-Luc Monfort, General Manager of Bathium Canada, "This agreement is the tangible result of the collaboration between Hydro-Québec and the Bolloré Group since the inception of Bathium in March 2007. We are happy to have exclusive world rights to the use of lithium iron phosphate for lithium-metal-polymer (LMP®) solid-electrolyte batteries. We are now guaranteed with a supply of this material for our stationary applications as well as for the Bluecar and Bluebus electric vehicles."

About Hydro-Québec's research institute

Hydro-Québec's research institute, IREQ, is a global leader in the development of advanced materials for battery manufacturing and creates leading-edge processes from its state-of-the-art facilities. IREQ holds more than 100 patent rights and 15 licenses for battery materials used by some of the world's most successful battery manufacturers and materials suppliers. Its areas of expertise include energy storage, and it is a lead partner with private-sector companies in Québec to build EV and HEV charging stations in support of its technology developments. Its material development contributions are helping to develop safe, high-performance lithium ion batteries that can be charged more quickly and a greater number of times. IREQ promotes open innovation and partners with private firms, universities, government agencies and research centres in Québec and abroad. Its partnerships allow IREQ to develop, industrialize and market technologies resulting from those innovation projects.

About Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It is Canada's largest electricity producer and one of the world's largest hydroelectric power producers. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular large hydro, and supports the development of wind energy through purchases from independent power producers. Its research institute, IREQ, conducts R&D in energy efficiency, energy storage and other energy-related fields. Hydro-Québec invests $100 million a year in research. www.hydroquebec.com

About the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)

CNRS is France's primary public-sector organization for multidisciplinary research, operating under the auspices of the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche. It produces knowledge and makes it available for the benefit of society.

Founded in 1939 by government order, CNRS has the following missions: to evaluate and carry out all research capable of advancing knowledge and bringing social, cultural and economic benefits for society; to contribute to the application and promotion of research results; to develop scientific information; to support research training; and to participate in the analysis of the national and international scientific climate and its potential for evolution in order to develop a national policy.

With a workforce of more than 34,000 (including 25,630 permanent: 11,450 researchers and 14,180 engineers, technicians and administrative staff), a 2011 initial budget of 3,204 billion Euros including 677 million of its own resources, and facilities throughout France, CNRS is active in all fields of knowledge through its more than 1,100 research and support units. Many eminent researchers have worked in CNRS laboratories at some point in their careers. Having 17 Nobel laureates and 11 Fields medalists to its credit, CNRS can boast a long tradition of excellence.  www.cnrs.fr.

About Bathium Canada and the Bolloré Group

Incorporated in 2007 and headquartered in Boucherville, Bathium Canada is a subsidiary of the French Group Bolloré, which finances its operations and R&D activities in Québec. Bathium is working to develop and market a lithium-metal-polymer (LMP®) battery, which consists of a lithium metal anode, a solid polymer electrolyte and an iron phosphate cathode. This technology results in a battery that is safe and maintenance-free with a high energetic density.  www.bathium.com

Bolloré, founded in 1822, is a French industrial group listed among the world's top 500 companies. Its numerous operations throughout the world employ close to 38,000 people and generated sales of 8.5 billion Euros in 2011.

As a result of its innovation-centered diversification strategy and its determination to grow internationally, it now holds strong positions in each of its lines of business: transportation and logistics, specialized identification and access control systems for air transportation, energy distribution, communications and telecommunications. The Bolloré Group is the world's leading producer of complete electrical components for capacitors and has vast expertise in energy storage, which has enabled it to develop supercapacitors and batteries using the Lithium Metal Polymer, the world's only technology of its kind.

At a time when sustainable development and electricity storage have become major issues for nations and cities, Bolloré has entered the electric car and bus market as well as the production of electric storage batteries for individuals and organizations.

Over its 189 years of operation, Bolloré has evolved and adapted to change. Its business activities are imbued with a concern for sustainable development and for reconciling its economic performance with its social and environmental mission on a daily basis.

SOURCE HYDRO-QUEBEC

For further information:

Jean-Luc Monfort
General Manager 
Bathium 
450 655-6621, ext. 4154
jlmonfort@bathium.com

Louis-Olivier Batty
Press Officer
Hydro-Québec 
514 289-4214
batty.louis-olivier@hydro.qc.ca

Julien Guillaume
Communications
CNRS
+33 (0) 1 44 96 46 35
julien.guillaume@cnrs-dir.fr

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