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Kids Turn Toy News

Battery Electric Vehicles


(Providence, RI - February 12, 2012) - Thames & Kosmos announced today the addition of an innovative new science kit addressing the future of automotive technology to its line of Construction+Science kits. Eco-Battery Vehicles allows kids and their adult "research assistants" to build and experiment with a new type of environmentally friendly "fuel cell" to learn about electrochemical cells and battery electric vehicles (BEV's). Along with all 18 of Thames & Kosmos' new science kits, Eco-Battery Vehicles be officially unveiled at the American International Toy Fair, Booth #1637, February 12th-15th in New York City.

"Thames & Kosmos has always tried to connect kids with relevant and cutting-edge science," explains company president Ted McGuire. "It's becoming increasingly likely that electric vehicles - or more specifically, battery electric vehicles or BEV's - will be the cars of the future. It's important that kids understand the amazing electrochemical cell that could very well power their first cars in ten years."

Thames & Kosmos started out 11 years ago selling one advanced science kit: a hydrogen fuel cell car. While two versions of the fuel cell car are still in the company's line, and the technology is still of great interest to many scientists, over the past 10 years, electric cars have surpassed hydrogen cars as the most viable cars for the future.

Many major auto manufacturers have BEV's in development, and a few already have BEV's on the road today. The challenge in making BEV's a viable transportation solution is the battery. Batteries must be easy to recharge, able to hold enough charge to drive long distances, and more efficient than gasoline engines. Scientists and engineers around the world are tackling this battery challenge, and major progress is being made.

The battery in this kit is a metal-air electrochemical cell, a type of battery that is widely used in small-scale devices. It is ideal for demonstrating battery technology because it does not use any harmful chemicals: it uses only magnesium plates, salt water, and the oxygen in the air to generate electricity. Moreover, magnesium is considered an eco-friendly renewable fuel because it could be harvested cleanly from ocean water.

Young engineers can build more than 20 different models and power them with this special battery. They can experiment with different concentrations of salt to see how long the battery can run, and learn about electrochemistry and battery technology.

One magnesium metal plate lasts as much as six times longer than a regular AA battery (six plates included). Includes a 64-page, full-color manual. Ages: 10+; SRP: $59.99

Look for these new science kits in stores this spring and summer. Thames & Kosmos kits can be found at specialty toy, hobby, gift, and museum stores, as well as through educational and home-school suppliers, toy and gift catalogs, and online stores. For a complete list of retailers, visit All Thames & Kosmos kits comply with all U.S. standards for toy safety, including new regulations recently imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Parents are encouraged to enjoy the products and overall experience alongside their children.

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About Thames & Kosmos
Thames & Kosmos, a privately held company headquartered in Providence, RI, was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving informal science education by creating high-quality science and technology-related educational products for children. Thames & Kosmos places an emphasis on teaching science that is relevant to the important issues in the world today through hands-on experimentation. Topics covered in Thames & Kosmos' line of more than 60 kits include alternative energy, chemistry, biology, physics, electronics, natural history, and earth science. For more information, visit