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Electrodes hold key to doubling EV lithium battery performance

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 12:07 -- paul Crompton

A consortium of US companies will receive $50million in federal funding to develop the next generation lithium-metal batteries.

The Battery500 consortium will receive up to $10 million a year over five years from the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The multi-disciplinary consortium includes leaders from DOE national laboratories, universities and industry.

The goal of the consortium is to build a battery pack with a specific energy of 500 Wh/kg compared to the 170-200 § in current EV batteries.

To reach these goals the team will focus on using lithium instead of graphite for the battery's anode, and will pair lithium with two different materials for the cathode.

Consortium director and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) materials scientist Jun Liu said: "Our goal is to extract every available drop of energy from battery materials while also producing a high-performance battery that is reliable, safe and less expensive.

"The Battery500 consortium will examine the best options to create the most powerful next-generation lithium batteries for electric cars."

The key focus of the consortium is to ensure the technological solutions it develops meet the needs of automotive and battery manufacturers, and can be quickly and seamlessly implemented by industry.

The team will set aside 20% of its overall budget for ‘seedling projects’ or work based on proposals from throughout the battery research community.

Though the immediate goal is to make effective, affordable batteries for EVs, Liu said the consortium's work could also advance stationary grid energy storage.

Beyond PNNL, the consortium includes the following partners: Brookhaven National Laboratory; Idaho National Laboratory; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Binghamton University (State University of New York); Stanford University; University of California, San Diego; University of Texas at Austin; University of Washington; IBM (advisory board member)