14 US Companies, Argonne Lab Form National Alliance to Advance Li-ion Battery Manufacturing in the US
18 December 2008
Fourteen US battery and advanced materials companies, with support from Argonne National Laboratory, have formed the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture to support the development of manufacturing capabilities for automotive Li-ion batteries in the US.
The founding members of the Alliance include 3M, ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies, Dontech Global, EaglePicher Corporation, EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite, and Townsend Advanced Energy. The founding members anticipate other battery developers and materials suppliers will join the Alliance. Argonne has been active in encouraging the Alliance and will continue to serve in an advisory role as the Alliance begins operations.
The Alliance seeks to develop one or more manufacturing and prototype development centers in the United States, which will be shared by Alliance members. Developing the capability to mass manufacture advanced battery cells is anticipated to require an investment of $1 to $2 billion over five years.
Most of that investment is expected to come from the federal government. The Alliance intends to leverage available government support by having Alliance members share in the use of a large manufacturing facility rather than having to compete for smaller, less ambitious forms of government support.
The Alliance seeks to replicate the success of Sematech, a government supported collaboration of US semiconductor manufacturers formed in the 1980s to address the increasing migration of semiconductor manufacturing from the United States to Asia. Between 1988 and 1993, Sematech raised $990 million in government grants and private investment to help US manufacturers recapture their lead in semiconductor technology.
US automakers are expected to play an important role in the Alliance, and will be invited to serve on the Alliance’s advisory board. The advisory board will help the cell makers move towards standardized cell formats that will simplify manufacture and ultimately lower the costs of cells.
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