The University of Michigan is to become the home of an US$8m lab focused on making electric vehicle batteries cheaper and longer lasting.
The lab, which is receiving funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ford Motor Co and the University of Michigan College of Engineering, will play a major role in strengthening Southeast Michigan’s battery supply chain.
It will bring together materials scientists and engineers, as well as suppliers and manufacturers, to accelerate battery development close to the heart of the US auto-industry.
“We need to be able to test hundreds of chemistries and cell designs, but they have to be tests that can translate from the lab to the production line,” said Ted Miller, who manages Ford’s battery research. “Ford has battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but nothing this far upstream.
“This is sorely needed, and no one else in the auto-industry has anything like it,” Miller added.
The lab should open in Autumn 2014 at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. It will be accessible to any automotive or non-automotive firm, and will protect a firm’s or individual’s intellectual property.
Lab facilities will include simulation, testing and analysis.