Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and DoE All Pitching in to Speed Development of Next-Gen Battery Technology

JUN 5 2013 BY STAFF 12

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With assistance from the US Department of Energy, a research group, headed by Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, will launch an initiative aimed at speeding the development of next-generation battery technologies for hybrids and electric vehicles.

The US Advanced Battery Consortium will use the $12.5 million provided by the DoE annually, as well as matching private funds, to explore efficient and cost-effective technologies for energy storage in vehicles. The consortium is part of the US Council for Automotive Research, aka USCAR, and is a partnership between Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, or the Detroit 3 as they’re commonly referred to.

This initiative will last for some five years and funding is subject to Congress continually approving the program based on annual progress made.  If progress is apparent, then USCAR will continue to receive $12.5 million annually from the DoE and will have to match those funds with private contributions.

The DoE released this statement:

“By investing in these cutting-edge battery technologies, the Energy Department is helping to cut America’s oil imports and provide American families and businesses with more transportation options.”

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12 Comments on "Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and DoE All Pitching in to Speed Development of Next-Gen Battery Technology"

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The DoE should take that money and install 240V charging stations in parking lots across the country. At about $8k per station, that’s over 1,500 charging stations.


Negatory. That’s for private industry to fund.

Same could be said for the battery research.
Unless all the derived knowledge is made available to any US owned battery and car manufacturer.


That response does not make your point that DOE should use the money to deploy EV charging stations.

Taser’s got a point. Adding <10kW 240V charging stations is a stupidly easy wiring job. I don't have any problem with that being subsidized (take some of that damned oil subsidy money away for it), but I do know that if I had to choose either that or battery research, I say put the money to battery research.

I believe in subsidizing deployment. But this is just an example of such incredibly stupid easy deployment that I'm not sure I'm with you.

A certain other *American* car company which happens to specialize in electric vehicles seems to be conspicuously absent. Which companies will have access to any future innovation propelled by this American taxpayer funded research?

Well this organization was founded in 1992. I’ve not heard of Tesla proposing to join.

Yup, & if my memory serves me correctly, this same group (with a contribution of taxpayer funds) developed battery technology back in the mid to late 90’s that the big 3 deemed not worth bringing to market, since they were making such tidy profits on Suburban and Explorer sales that they were not interested in BEV’s & PHEV’s. But Toyota was, and, again if memory serves, Toyota (taking the long view) made use of the technological advances by the consortium US Advanced Battery Consortium, a part of USCAR) to bring the first gen. Prius to market. I remember being extremely miffed that US companies and taxpayer dollars did the research, but those same US MANUFACTURERS DROPPED THE BALL! Will history repeat itself, or will Ford, GM and Chrysler actually utilize the tech. This time around?

And my guess is that Tesla is not part of this group because their battery development technology is advanced beyond where the “big three” are, and they want to preserve and expand on that technological lead.

A small correction, Toyota was excluded and was so angry, that they decide to fund their own research that indeed led to the Prius.

Is that 12.5 million a Grant or Loan?

The best way to ensure you don’t make BEVs your primary business, is to pretend to improve the technology for your product while sucking in as much tax payer money as possible, for as long as possible.

Window dressing. Tiny money relative to revenues of these companies – thus quixotically inane. Is Chrysler an American Car Company. What happened to the IBM consortium? Industry should concentrate on development. Let research be supported in universities.