Although it isn’t huge dollars—but certainly nothing to sniff at, either—the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC)—a precompetitive collaboration between Chrysler, Ford and GM—announced yesterday that it has awarded some $15.6-million in contracts for advanced battery development and tech assessment. The money is being co-funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and include a 50% cost share from each of the contracted companies, so this is a case where monies are being leveraged to advantage.
· Cobasys. It is awarded a three-year, $8.36-million contract to develop high-energy lithium-ion cells for electric vehicle applications. The contract calls for the (1) design, development, delivery, and validation of conforming design-intent cells and then (2) the design, development, delivery, and verification of a 40-kWh technology demonstration battery pack. In other words, to develop a whole new high-energy pack to power vehicles.
· Maxwell Technologies. It has won a $7.01-million, two-year program to develop technology that will double existing capacitor power density from 10 to 20 kW/kg, and double the existing energy density from 15- to 30 Wh/kg. Ultracapacitors are excellent at providing quick jolts of power for things like start-stop systems (used by companies including Peugeot for the 3008Hybrid4, claimed to be the world’s first diesel hybrid vehicle). USABC will then determine how what Maxwell develops will track with its lower-energy energy storage system (LEESS—seriously, that’s their acronym) application goals.
· SK Energy. It is receiving $195,149 for a one-year tech assessment of the performance, life cycle, and accelerated calendar life of its EV batteries in the context of USABC goals.
Here’s why things like USABC are important. Cobasys is based in Michigan. But it is part of SB LiMotive, which is a joint venture between Samsung and Bosch. SK Energy is based in Seoul, South Korea. Maxwell Technologies is based in San Diego. Enough said.