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They have different cell types. I believe one is high power/quick charge optimized and the other is optimized for plug-in applications (lower power, higher energy but still power capable enough for hybrid mode). I assume the Volt's will be similar to the latter and aren't capable of the 5 minute charge but I believe A123's website states 45 minutes. I'm still skeptical of battery life with quick charging (A123 or Altairnano). I haven't seen anything that addresses how life is affected.
 

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They have different cell types. I believe one is high power/quick charge optimized and the other is optimized for plug-in applications (lower power, higher energy but still power capable enough for hybrid mode). I assume the Volt's will be similar to the latter and aren't capable of the 5 minute charge but I believe A123's website states 45 minutes. I'm still skeptical of battery life with quick charging (A123 or Altairnano). I haven't seen anything that addresses how life is affected.
I think you're right that the Volt would use the high energy battery version as opposed to the high power version. The link above quoted 5 minutes to 90% for the high power & 12 minutes to 80% for the high energy. This 12 minute number is still better than most LiIion batteries. I think that A123 has an inherent advantage because of the nanostructured electrode means that the Lithium Ions don't have to diffuse through large particles. This makes for inherently lower impedance & lower impedance for life.
 

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I believe this quick-charge technology (and other similar technologies) along with a battery lease plan that alleviates the risks for both parties will be one of the initial strategies used by BEV manufactures. It will also go down as one of the biggest reasons why hydrogen cars never gained traction. Why would anyone, other than fan-boys, want to deal with the hydrogen losses and complexities when they can use this technology with little risk? Answer: They wouldn't.
 

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The current used to charge any battery does impact battery life. The lower the current, the longer the lifespan of the battery. A higher current, used to do rapid charging, will decrease the lifespan of the battery no matter the chemistry (li-ion, ni-cd, ni-mh, li-po, etc.) Li-ion and li-po batteries should be charged at max 1C (1 x capacity) and will take an hour to charge if the battery is fully discharged. An example is a 2600mah battery charged at 2.6 amps will take one hour to charge. A current of less than 2.6 amps is most desirable to increase the lifespan of a cell. Also, the algorithm used for Li-ion and Li-Po batteries is CC/CV (constant current, then constant voltage). The charge current will remain constant until a specific voltage is met by the battery, then that voltage remains constant while the current decreases.

From what I understand, A123 cells can be charged up to 4C. A 1750mah battery can be charged at 7 amps and will take 15 minutes. They also have a 30C discharge rate which means a 1000mah battery can be safely discharged at 30 amps. The battery needed for the Volt would be huge and consist of batteries assembled in series and parallel to meet the voltage/discharge demands. The batteries will need a complex charging and monitoring while in use to ensure no single cell be over discharged/charged, i.e. parallel balancing.
 
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