DOE Announces Nearly $11 Million In Projects for Electric Drive Vehicle Battery TechnologiesJune 15, 2009 by Jeff Shepard
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of seven cost-shared research projects for the development of advanced batteries for electric drive vehicles. The total DOE investment for these projects is up to $10.96 million over three years, subject to annual appropriations. Private sector contributions will further increase the financial investment for a total of up to $19.36 million. The selections are part of DOE’s continuing work to develop high-efficiency electric drive vehicle battery technologies and will directly support DOE’s goal to protect national and economic security by promoting a diverse supply and delivery of reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound alternative energy.
The projects, being funded by base annual appropriations, will focus on improving battery material performance, developing manufacturing processes to increase performance, and decreasing the cost of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) batteries. PHEVs are hybrid vehicles that can be driven in electric-only mode and recharged from a standard electric outlet. These vehicles provide fuel diversity and decreased petroleum consumption. The acceleration of lithium-ion battery development is a key step in the successful commercialization of PHEVs, which will be capable of traveling up to 40 miles without recharging.
These projects were selected under the battery materials and manufacturing topic area from the Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement released on February 29, 2008. In December 2008, DOE announced the initial selection of three battery materials and manufacturing projects for negotiation of award from the FOA, including: 3M Company, BASF Catalyst LLC and FMC Corp. These three contracts total up to $13.9 million in cost-shared cooperative agreements; DOE share of up to $6.85 million, subject to annual appropriations. The additional selections announced include:
A123Systems, Inc. has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $1.1 million for a project to develop a high throughput electrode fabrication process for their lithium ion battery technology.
Angstron Materials LLC, teamed with Applied Sciences Inc.; K2 Energy Solutions; General Motors Corp.; and HST Auto; has been selected for negotiation of a three-year award of up to $3.2 million with a DOE share of up to $1.6 million, project to develop hybrid nano carbon fiber/graphene platelet-based high-capacity anodes for lithium batteries.
EnerDel Inc. has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $3.3 million for a project to develop a chemical shuttle agent that will eliminate the danger of overcharging lithium ion batteries developed for plug in hybrid electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles.
MaxPower Inc. has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $500,000 for a project aimed at adapting MaxPower’s present battery management systems (BMS) for lithium-ion batteries to recognize the imminent appearance of an internal short and to take action to operate the battery in a safe state.
North Carolina State University of Raleigh, North Carolina, teamed with American Lithium Energy LLC has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $1.35 million for a project to develop high-energy composite nanofiber anodes for materials for lithium ion batteries.
SION Power Corp. has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $800,000 for a project aimed at demonstrating the viability of their lithium sulfur (Li-S) rechargeable battery chemistry for electric drive vehicles.
TIAX LLC has been selected for negotiation of an award for up to $2.36 million for a project aimed at understanding and preventing internal short circuits in lithium ion cells. Results from the proposed program will help develop guidelines to enable development of technologies for safe battery packs, guidelines that will permit original equipment manufacturers to develop their own proprietary technologies for mitigating short-circuit induced safety incidents.