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Chevy Volt to get lighter, more powerful batteries

A licensing agreement among LG Chem, Argonne National Laboratory and General Motors will result in lighter, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the Chevrolet Volt.

The deal, announced Thursday, gives LG Chem and GM U.S. access to Argonne’s patented lithium- and nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode combination that will be used to extend range between charges, increase battery life and improve the safety of lithium-ion cells.

“This is cutting-edge technology that is going to improve future electrified vehicles — pure electrics, extended-range electrics and plug-in hybrids,” Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures, said of the second generation cathode material.

The technology, which Argonne has had under development for 10 years, will basically increase voltage and energy at lower heat levels, the next step toward matching the energy in gasoline.

“But though this is the most advanced cathode material available, it is only one part of battery composition – cathode, anode and electrolyte — which all must be improve to match the performance of gasoline,” Lauckner said.


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