New advanced battery research coming to Michigan

Michigan’s place as the home of the auto industry will be getting a boost as the state becomes a center for research, development and manufacturing for advanced batteries, one of the key building blocks of the electrified vehicles of the future

Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the Department of Energy announced at the end of November that Holland and Ann Arbor will host satellite facilities for the federal Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. The program is connected with the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, where the battery technology used in the Chevy Volt was developed.

The five-year, $120 million award will support the center’s efforts to speed the development of new technologies into commercial applications, according to a story in the Detroit Free Press.

Stabenow proposed the advanced battery hub last year, and authorization and funding was included in this year’s congressional appropriations bill.

Research partners will include the University of Michigan, Dow Chemical, Johnson Controls and Michigan Technological University.

“While it was not immediately known what the job impact might be, the hubs are expected to increase economic activity by advancing new battery technology through expanding research and shortening the time it takes to move new technology from the lab to commercial applications,” according to the Free Press report.

Michigan has become a center for advanced battery research with federal stimulus and other funding flowing to companies like Dow Kokam, LG Chem, Johnson Controls looking to capitalize on a move toward electric and hybrid vehicles.

Source: Detroit Free Press