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USA: Cheaper, Lighter Electric Vehicle Batteries in the Works

WASHINGTON, DC, August 7, 2012 (ENS) – Nine experimental electric vehicle battery projects have been chosen for investment by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seek to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, on Thursday when the selected projects were announced.

The selected projects will be awarded a total of nearly $20 million to focus on innovations in battery management and storage that will advance electric vehicle technologies.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion battery is shown in silver (Image courtesy Argonne National Lab)

GE Global Research in Niskayuna, New York will receive $3.12 million to develop thin-film sensors that enable real-time, two-dimensional mapping of temperature and surface pressure for each cell within a battery pack. These new sensors will provide higher resolution compared to today’s thermal sensors, improving internal battery measurement capabilities and lowering the cost of electric vehicles.

Ford Motor Co. expects to receive $3.1 to develop a high-precision battery testing device to improve battery-life forecasting and validation. This project aims to reduce the time and expense required in the research, development and qualification testing of new automotive and stationary batteries.

Robert Bosch LLC of Palo Alto, California will get $3.1 million to develop battery monitoring and control software to improve the energy utilization, reliability, and charge rate of electric vehicle batteries. Bosch’s advanced battery management system will leverage breakthroughs in real-time modeling of the battery’s internal environment.


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