A123 Targets EV with Argonne National Lab

September 11, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

A123 Systems LLC announced an agreement with Argonne National Laboratory to collaborate on a cathode development program that results in safe lithium-ion batteries with high energy densities and long lifetimes. With A123 playing the lead role, the two organizations will produce a safe class of advanced cathode materials for use in transportation applications that require substantial improvements in electric driving range.

The three-year, multi-million dollar agreement between A123 Systems and Argonne National Laboratory will focus on improving the cathode safety without compromising cell energy density or battery life. A123 will leverage its scientific talent and successful track record in battery materials development to commercialize advances in nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) technology originally developed by Argonne. When combined with other independent R&D collaborations, A123 anticipates more than a 60% increase in energy density over its current high energy products and a corresponding increase in electric range for the vehicles it supplies.

This program builds on A123’s existing NMC technology which already accounts for nearly half of the company’s current production. While A123 has become the world leader in high power batteries for low-voltage hybrids, its progress in high energy applications is more recent. Today six vehicle models use A123’s NMC technology in plug-in applications and the company has been awarded more than 10 additional programs for future market introductions. While those applications are predominantly in the Chinese market today, a more global customer base is set to emerge over the next several years.

“Working with Argonne will further advance our already strong presence in plug-in vehicles and support the increasing market demand globally” says Jason Forcier, CEO. “We look forward to expanding our customer base as we offer increasingly greater range to our plug-in vehicle programs without compromising on the life and safety performance that the market has come to expect from A123.”