The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) announced a $2.3 million grant to develop lithium battery technologies. USABC, which is under the umbrella of United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), a research organization between Detroit's Big Three, awarded the grant, in collaboration with the Department of Energy, to Celgard, LLC. Celgard is a company that supplies materials for lithium-ion batteries. According to the press release (which you can find after the jump), Celgard will work in cost-effective separators for lithium-ion battery applications, a key component for hybrid cars. The release also says that for the Department of Energy, electrochemical energy storage is a key technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicles. Hey, that's just what most of the rest of us think.
[Source: USCAR]

PRESS RELEASE:

USABC AWARDS $2.3 MILLION BATTERY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CONTRACT TO CELGARD LLC


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 3, 2008 – The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced the award of a $2.3 million battery separator technology development contract to Celgard, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore International, Inc. (NYSE:PPO) and a global supplier of material for lithium-ion batteries, located in Charlotte, N.C.

USABC, whose members are Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, awarded the contract in collaboration with the DOE to develop lithium-ion battery separator technology for hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle applications. The 18-month contract will focus on performance characteristics of separators for use in lithium-ion vehicle batteries.

USABC is a consortium of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the DOE, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid and electric vehicles.

Celgard's contract involves demonstrating performance characteristics of high-temperature melt integrity (HTMI) lithium-ion battery separators, focusing on abuse tolerance, production process definition and scale-up parameters. It will also develop a standard definition and protocol for measuring HTMI.

"We are pleased to announce the award of this contract to Celgard as part of USABC's broad battery technology research and development program," said Don Walkowicz, executive director of USCAR. "The program is essential to advancing both near- and long-term goals for hybrid-electric vehicle transportation."

The new contract with Celgard follows previous work with USABC to develop cost-effective separators for lithium-ion battery applications.

The U.S. DOE's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States. DOE's Office of FreedomCAR & Vehicle Technologies works with industry to develop advanced transportation technologies that reduce the nation's use of imported oil and increase our energy security. Electrochemical energy storage has been identified as a critical enabling technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicles.

Founded in 1992, USCAR is the umbrella organization for collaborative research among Chrysler, Ford and GM. The goal of USCAR is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development.

For more information, visit USCAR's Web site at www.uscar.org


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