Russian entrepreneur Boris Zingarevich has obtained control of United States lithium battery manufacturer Ener1. The $81 million investment by the Russian businessman, who has close links with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, has raised some concerns for US-based media outlets.
The Obama administration has a strong track record of employing public funding to advance “green energy” and lithium battery technology research; however, in the wake of notable bankruptcies, including those of Solyndra and Ener1, criticism has been presented. The government had invested $118 million in Ener1 through federal stimulus programs, with an additional $80 million in local and state initiatives. The company had recruited top US scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to develop and produce leading-edge battery technology for electric cars and defense purposes.
Most recent initiatives
The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) has allocated $43 million for two new programs aimed at developing energy storage technologies that will promote efficient and secure energy supplies.
One program will fund research of advanced function and control technologies to improve the performance, safety, and duration of energy storage systems. It is intended to pioneer a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, and improve the practicality of the domestic electricity grid.