Initiatives move battery ball forward

  • 26-Apr-2010 09:03 EDT
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An engineer tests a Chevrolet Volt lithium-ion battery cell at GM's battery lab in Warren, MI.

Among recent advances in the area of U.S. battery development and manufacturing, Toda America on April 20 officially broke ground on its first U.S. manufacturing plant to produce lithium-ion cathode materials for battery cells. The $70 million facility is being built on a brownfield site in Battle Creek, MI, with a U.S. Department of Energy Recovery Act grant. Toda America is a joint venture between Toda Kogyo and Itochu through a transaction completed last month. General Motors on April 12 announced an $8 million investment to double the size of the battery lab at the GM Technical Center in Warren, MI. More than 1000 GM engineers work on advanced batteries and electric-drive vehicles. Planar Energy, a developer of large-format, solid-state, ceramic-like batteries at half the cost and triple the performance of lithium-ion batteries, announced that it was one of four companies selected through a competitive-solicitation process to collaborate in a U.S. DOE R&D initiative at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to address energy-storage challenges presented by lithium-based batteries.The initiative allocates $400,000 to help advance the commercialization of Planar's solid-state battery technology.

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