U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium Awards Contract to ENER1 Lithium Battery Group

June 06, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

ENER1 Inc. announced that its EnerDel battery subsidiary has received a contract from the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a part of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an organization founded by DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors that works with the Department of Energy (DOE) to strengthen America's auto industry through cooperative development of advanced technologies.

The 12-month, cost-share contract is the first step of EnerDel's proposed three phase plan to launch a cost competitive lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery that is lighter, smaller and higher in power than existing battery technologies for hybrid electric vehicles. The company is collaborating with Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. DOE's largest research centers, on the advanced materials that will give the battery its superior characteristics. EnerDel's long-term plan includes the mass-manufacture of Li-Ion batteries in the state of Indiana using automated production technologies.

Charles Gassenheimer, Chairman of Ener1, Inc., said that the USABC contract represents an important milestone for Ener1. "We believe the USABC has validated the path we are pursing to develop Li-Ion battery technology for the hybrid market. We intend to show results that will further inspire the confidence of the USABC and DOE and expand our scope of work toward commercialization of a battery that will significantly improve future hybrid vehicles made in the U.S., and add value to the American automotive industry."

Ulrik Grape, President of EnerDel, added: "We have achieved outstanding power performance with small batteries and based on our initial data, we believe that our battery technology has the potential to exceed the USABC's FreedomCAR performance goals."

Grape said that possibly the most significant benefits and technological breakthroughs of EnerDel's lithium battery system are its high power capabilities and compact design, as well as its stability at low temperatures, which will extend the life of the battery. "In short, we're confident that we will meet the power requirements for hybrid vehicles and that our solution provides an excellent opportunity for low production costs while possessing outstanding performance and safety features."

USABC pursues the development of high power and high energy storage technologies to provide future generations of electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicle applications with significantly increased range and performance at a cost competitive with gasoline-powered vehicles.