The U.S. Department of Energy has announced awards of more than $34 million in research grants aimed at developing better batteries for electric vehicles.
First-generation batteries for electrified cars and trucks are expensive, although prices will decline as manufacturing volume increases. At recent U.S. prices per kilowatt-hour of energy storage capacity, the battery packs add about $36,000 to the cost of a Tesla Roadster, as much as $16,000 to the price of a Nissan Leaf, and almost $11,000 to the cost of a Chevrolet Volt. Federalhttp://thebatterytimes.com/wp-admin/post-new.php#yahoo tax credits of $7,500 and local incentives will help make plug-in vehicles more affordable for early adopters, but automakers and battery suppliers are focusing on battery cost and performance as keys to the acceptance of new-energy automobiles.
Officials recently announced that the federal government will pitch in through its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, funding 10 battery research projects considered to have the potential to dramatically improve upon existing technologies.
“The critical barrier to wider deployment of electric vehicles is the high cost and low energy of today’s batteries,” the Energy Department said in a news release. “This ARPA-E program seeks to develop a new generation of ultra-high energy density, low-cost battery technologies for long-range plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.”
The Energy Department has awarded a total of $34,573,810 for battery research projects in a program called Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation, or BEEST.
The award recipients, partner companies or agencies, funding amounts, project locations and project descriptions are as follows:
Sion Power Corp.
(BASF, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery: The project seeks to develop an ultra-high-energy Li-S battery that can power electric vehicles for more than 300 miles between charges. The approach uses new manufacturing processes and six physical barrier layers to address cycle life and safety.
ReVolt Technology LLC
Zinc air-flow battery: A large, high-energy zinc air-flow battery will be developed to enable long range plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Zinc, suspended as a slurry, is stored in a tank and transported through tubes to charge and discharge the battery.
PolyPlus Battery Co.
Lithium-air battery: Rechargeable Li-air batteries for electric vehicle applications will be developed using protected lithium metal cathodes. This approach has a clear path to scaling commercially, and the batteries may rival the energy density of gasoline.
Pellion Technologies Inc.
Menlo Park, Calif.
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bar-Ilan University)
Magnesium-ion battery: The project will develop an inexpensive, rechargeable magnesium-ion battery for electric and hybrid-electric vehicle applications. Computational methods and accelerated chemical synthesis will be used to develop new materials and chemistries. If successful, this project will develop the first commercial magnesium-ion battery and establish U.S. technology leadership in a new field.
Applied Materials Inc.
Santa Clara, Calif.
(A123 Systems, Inc., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
Advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing: Low-cost, ultra-high-energy lithium-ion batteries will be developed using an innovative manufacturing process. High-energy cathodes will be integrated with new anodes and prototype manufacturing will be demonstrated that could achieve an extremely low cost. If successful, this project will establish U.S. leadership in the manufacturing of high-energy, low-cost advanced lithium-ion batteries.
Category: Battery News