Battery consortium to boost small Lithium-metal projects with $10 m investment

August 02, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
A major battery research consortium in the US will provide up to $10m for small projects around the world in a bid to boost the development of lithium-metal cells for electric vehicles and smart grid storage.

The five year, $50m Battery500 consortium aims to triple energy stored in electric car batteries but will also reserve 20% of the budget for small ‘seedling’ projects from the battery community.

The consortium aims to build a battery pack with a specific energy of 500 watt-hours per kilogram, compared to the 170-200 watt-hours per kilogram in today's typical EV battery.Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researcher Jason Zhang (above) will co-lead the consortium's group focused on improving electrodes and electrolytes.

"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," said consortium director and PNNL materials scientist Jun Liu. "Through our multi-institutional partnership, which includes some of the world's most innovative energy storage leaders, the Battery500 consortium will examine the best options to create the most powerful next-generation lithium batteries for electric cars."

Alongside PNNL, the consortium includes Stanford University, University of California, San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, the University of Washington and IBM.

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

www.pnnl.gov