• Dec 27, 2010
The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a research collaboration between Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, has announced that it will award $5.43 million to fund development and assessment of advanced battery projects. The contracts will be issued to five firms and are funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The USABC has elected to award funds to battery development projects that run the gamut from energy storage systems designed for hybrid vehicles, to high-energy lithium-ion cells that could provide motivation for pure electric vehicles (EVs). The companies receiving monetary support from the USABC include:
  • Envia Systems Inc.: Awarded a $3.65-million contract for a three-year project to develop a high-energy cathode material for vehicle applications.
  • Quallion LLC: Received a $1.41-million contract for an 18-month technology assessment of its Matrix battery design.
  • ActaCell Inc.: Awarded $179,015 for a 16-month technology assessment contract to evaluate the company's high-power lithium-ion cells.
  • Leyden Energy Inc.: Received a $117,733 contract for an eight-month technology assessment of its lithium-ion technology for EV applications.
  • K2 Energy Solutions Inc.: Awarded a $73,644 contract for a 12-month technology assessment of the company's 51 amp-hour (Ah) cells and planned 45 Ah cells configured in flat-pack modular batteries.
USABC, a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), was established to develop energy storage technologies that foster the commercialization of electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

[Source: USCAR]

PRESS RELEASE

USABC Awards $5.43 Million in Advanced Battery Technology Contracts to Five Firms


SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), an advanced research collaboration among Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, today announced approximately $5.43 million in advanced battery development and technology assessment contracts to five firms.

The competitively bid contract awards are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and include a 50 percent cost-share from each of the contracted companies.

USABC awarded the contracts to develop and assess advanced energy storage technologies for hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV), a lower-energy energy storage system (LEESS) for power-assist hybrid-electric vehicles (PAHEV) and electric vehicle (EV) applications.

The companies receiving advanced battery development contracts are:

* Envia Systems Inc. of Newark, Calif., which was awarded a $3.65 million contract for a three-year project to develop a high-energy cathode material for vehicle applications and pouch cells that exhibit performance metrics that meet or exceed the minimum USABC EV goals.
* Quallion LLC of Los Angeles, Calif., which was awarded a $1.41 million contract for an 18-month demonstration of its Matrix™ battery design, a hybridized battery pack using a mixture of high power and high-energy lithium-ion cells, and to demonstrate the performance of the packs against USABC EV goals.

The companies receiving technology assessment contracts are:

* ActaCell Inc. of Austin, Texas, which was awarded $179,015 for a 16-month technology assessment contract to evaluate the company's high-power lithium-ion cells for increased cycle and storage life against USABC PAHEV goals.
* Leyden Energy Inc. of Freemont, Calif., which was awarded a $117,733 contract for an eight-month technology assessment of its lithium-ion technology for EV applications in a pouch cell and to evaluate them against USABC EV battery goals.
* K2 Energy Solutions Inc. of Henderson, Nev., which was awarded a $73,644 contract for a 12-month technology assessment of the company's 51 amp-hour (Ah) cells and planned 45 Ah cells configured in "flat-pack" modular batteries and large laminated cells in relation to USABC EV battery targets.

"We are pleased to announce the award of these contracts as part of USABC's broad battery technology research and development programs," said Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR. "These programs are essential to advance the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable a broad spectrum of vehicle electrification."

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. As such, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure their progress.

The U.S. DOE's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States. DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program works with industry, academia and national laboratories 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.

About USCAR

Founded in 1992, USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company. 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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 4 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Didn't see any links in the article, so here they are.

      Envia Systems: http://www.enviasystems.com/
      Web site is mostly rhetoric, this is the only technical info, sounds similar to LG Chem.
      "Envia has developed a cathode material based on inexpensive metals (including manganese) that stores more energy per unit of weight than anything else in use today – twice the energy density of lithium cobalt oxide."

      Quallion: http://www.quallion.com/
      "This highly scaleable system simultaneously links mass numbers of small cells in parallel and series, an approach that eliminates the need for control electronics without any compromises in reliability and redundancy. In fact, our MATRIX™ configuration can maintain current control even if “bad cells” are in the battery, a condition that would cause significant problems in most conventional batteries."
      This is what I would characterize as the "Tesla" approach. But I cannot envision any system that "can maintain current control" and "eliminates the need for control electronics". A purely passive system, i.e. current limiting resistors would be very inefficient, maybe they are talking about fuses. However either of these approaches does not deal with the necessity of balancing charging between serially wired cells which traditionally always requires active electronics. Also Battery Management Systems report voltages and cell temperatures back to a main computer, again requiring electronics.

      ActaCell: http://www.actacell.com/
      "ActaCell has designed a lithium ion battery based on Lithium Manganese Spinel, but one that has eliminated LMO’s largest weakness, its durability/cycle life. ActaCell batteries offer high cycle life, even at higher temperatures, making it very robust over a wide temperature range, a perfect choice for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) or high power plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) applications."
      I wonder if this is the same as Nissan's battery for the LEAF?

        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for the links. These grants for "development, demonstration, and assessment" obviously aren't enough to build a $50M battery plant, so I wonder if these companies hope to a) license their technology, b) get that $50M from venture capitalists, or c) have one of the former Detroit big 3 use the technology in its battery manufacturing. For c), are Ford and GM going to build their own battery cells?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Due to a limit of 3 URLs I had to split this up.

        Leyden Energy: http://www.leydenenergy.com/
        "Leyden Technology provides all the safety and performance of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries yet features higher energy density 225 Wh / Kg and >400 Wh / l."
        Impressive figures, but when I look at their 18650 battery (which is what Tesla uses) is is the same 2.2Ahr rating as the Tesla Roadster batteries and well short of the new 3.1Ahr Panasonic batteries Tesla is using in their new Model S. Although their "long" life of 1000 cycles doesn't sound overly impressive, it is to 100% DOD, much better than the standard 80%.

        K2 Energy Solutions: http://www.peakbattery.com/
        "Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) is a special kind of lithium battery that addresses the 4 major issues with current lithium technologies: Safety, Life, Power, and Environmental Friendliness."

        The common theme of all of these is that they are all using conventional well proven battery chemistries and promising incremental improvements. None are pursuing breakthrough advanced designs. Not necessarily a bad thing if you goal is improving near-term production. But this is a fast moving business and companies like Planar Energy http://www.planarenergy.com/ now building a pilot production line will make all of these obsolete in about 3 years.
      bajohn3
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know if I'd try to project any particular chemistry as taking over three years out in the future, something else may come along by then. Especially since Planar hasn't yet powered a vehicle with their technology that I'm aware of.