FIGURE 14 Energy storage R&D funding from DOE and Recovery Act.
SOURCE: David Howell, Presentation at July 26-27, 2010 National Academies Symposium on “Building the U.S. Battery Industry for Electric Drive Vehicles: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities.”
Vehicle-technology research funded by the DOE spans the entire development chain. It includes R&D for advanced materials such as high-energy cathodes and high-voltage electrolytes, high-energy and high-power cells, full system development and testing, and commercialization.
Of the $76 million FY 2010 vehicle-technology R&D budget, $44 million goes to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, with $15.8 million going to conventional hybrids. The remainder is for “exploratory” research, Mr. Howell explained. Roughly half of funds go to national laboratories and universities for next-generation research. The rest goes to industry, he said.
The DOE has a “documented track record of success” in battery research going back to nickel metal hydride technologies, Mr. Howell said. The agency has worked with lithium-ion development since the late 1990s. Many recent lithium-ion commercialization successes have been supported by the DoE’s U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium program, which includes lab research, diagnostics, and modeling of new materials to help understand failure rates and the electrochemical phenomena of different chemistries, he said. “It’s a full-program effort,” Mr. Howell said. “It culminates, hopefully, in commercialized technology.”
Recent successes have included the high-power lithium-ion battery pack developed by Johnson Controls-Saft for BMW and Mercedes hybrids. Others are the lithium-ion cells that A123 is supplying to Hymotion’s Prius conversion