USABC Invests $6.5 Million in Lithium Ion Battery Production ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: USABC Invests $6.5 Million in Lithium Ion Battery Production

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

USABC Invests $6.5 Million in Lithium Ion Battery Production

Ener1 Inc., a subsidiary of Enerdel Inc. was awarded $6.5 million to develop production capable Lithium-Ion batteries. Enderdel, which is located in Indianapolis, hopes to bring production costs down to $1,500 per battery, which would be half of what current nickel-metal hydride batteries are reported to cost. They are also hoping the new Li-Ion battery packs will be ready for car manufacturers to use in their 2010 lineups. In other words, they should be in production by September, 2009.

Ener1 won the grant from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC). The USABC is comprised of the Big 3: Chrysler, Ford and GM as well as the U.S. Dept of Energy. The consortium is part of the U.S. Council for Automotive Research. The Dept. of Energy provides half the budget for the consortium.

The grant is part two of a three phase program. Enderdel completed part one in June. The second phase involves the development of a production-caliber cell, extensive lifetime testing and evaluation, and demonstrating the technology in battery modules.

"The program is essential to advancing the goals of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, yielding both near- and long-term benefits for hybrid electric and hydrogen-fueled transportation," said Don Walkowicz, executive director of the U.S. Council for Automotive Research.

The battery is lithium titanate, as opposed to the lithium potassium batteries A123 is creating. According to Charles Gassenheimer, vice chairman of Enderdel, the lithium titanate runs cooler and is therefore safer than their competitors. It will also be cheaper for car manufacturers because it won't require a separate cooling system for the battery. The basic technology was developed by Peter Novak, formerly of the Russian Academy of Sciences, technology from Japan and packaging know-how from Delphi.

According to Enerdel, the battery is intended for use in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), but would also be available for use in the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).

Read more about it at Lithium ion battery project gets more funding - Automotive News and Start-up promises to slash the costs of plug-in hybrids | Tech news blog - CNET

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