R&D Centre to Help US in Race to Build Better Battery
The race is on to develop more efficient batteries for electric vehicles, and on April 8 the US based National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture announced the establishment of a research and development centre for this very purpose. The Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center in Lexington, Kentucky will house collaborative research by scientists from the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Argonne National Laboratory.
At present Korea and China are the main producers of lithium ion batteries, and according to Dr. Mahendra Sunkara, director of University of Louisville’s Institute for Advanced Materials and Renewable Energy, the US is “behind in the global race.” Changing fuel economy standards and measure’s such as Barack Obama’s call for a million hybrid vehicles on US road by 2015 mean that the pressure is on for the US to catch up.
The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture – whose founding members include 3M, ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies, Dontech Global, EaglePicher Corp., EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite and Townsend Advanced Energy – was formed last December. The group is seeking US$1 billion in government grants to construct a facility for producing next-generation batteries.