Nanosys grabs DoE battery development grant

August 12, 2011 // By George Leopold
The U.S. Energy Department continues to push materials development for batteries destined for use in next-generation electric vehicles.

Nanosys Inc., (Palo Alto, CA) said Thursday it has been awarded a $4.8 million grant from DoE to scale up its proprietary battery material for the electric vehicle market. The initiative will eventually include an additional $6 million in matching funds from Nanosys and federal "sub-awards."

The EV battery program is part of an Energy Department effort to reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries to $250 per kilowatt hour, which is widely viewed as a milestone for commercial acceptance. The U.S. program also seeks to boost next-generation EV battery capacity to 300 miles per charge.

Nanosys claims that recent tests revealed that its propriety anode material, dubbed SiNanode, doubled in capacity of Li-ion batteries while boosting the number of charging cycles.

"Until [electric] vehicles are able to achieve substantial operating range on a single charge with the economics of combustion vehicles, acceptance will be limited to early adopters," Jason Hartlove, president and CEO of Nanosys, said in a statement.

DoE's Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy is investing billions of dollars on advanced battery research as it seeks to jumpstart a next-generation EV industry in the U.S.