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USABC awards $5.43M in advanced battery technology contracts to 5 firms

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), an advanced research collaboration among Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, announced approximately $5.43 million in advanced battery development and technology assessment contracts to five firms. The competitively bid contract awards are funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and include a 50% cost-share from each of the contracted companies.

USABC awarded the contracts to develop and assess advanced energy storage technologies for hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV); a lower-energy energy storage system (LEESS) for power-assist hybrid-electric vehicles (PAHEV); and electric vehicle (EV) applications. (Earlier post.) The companies receiving advanced battery development contracts are:

  • Envia Systems Inc. of Newark, Calif., which was awarded a $3.65-million contract for a three-year project to develop a high-energy cathode material for vehicle applications and pouch cells that exhibit performance metrics that meet or exceed the minimum USABC EV goals.

  • Quallion LLC of Los Angeles, Calif., which was awarded a $1.41-million contract for an 18-month technology assessment of its Matrix battery design, a hybridized battery pack using a mixture of high power and high-energy lithium-ion cells, and to demonstrate the performance of the packs against USABC EV goals.

The companies receiving technology assessment contracts are:

  • ActaCell Inc. of Austin, Texas, which was awarded $179,015 for a 16-month technology assessment contract to evaluate the company’s high-power lithium-ion cells for increased cycle and storage life against USABC PAHEV goals.

  • Leyden Energy Inc. of Freemont, Calif., which was awarded a $117,733 contract for an eight-month technology assessment of its lithium-ion technology for EV applications in a pouch cell and to evaluate them against USABC EV battery goals.

  • K2 Energy Solutions Inc. of Henderson, Nev., which was awarded a $73,644 contract for a 12-month technology assessment of the company’s 51 amp-hour (Ah) cells and planned 45 Ah cells configured in flat-pack modular batteries and large laminated cells in relation to USABC EV battery targets.

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE), USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. As such, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure their progress.

Comments

HarveyD

Can anybody detail what USABC has accomplished in the last decade?

Is it a long or very short list?

kelly

HarveyD has a great question.

$5.43 million would cover less than a fourth of ex-GM CEO Wagner's pension, a 1/200th of ex-UnitedHealth Group CEO McGuire's 'annual compensation.'

To paraphrase, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is theft.

SJC

Here are their goals, no mention of achievements.

Continue development of high-power battery technologies to reduce cost to $20/kW and extend life to 15 years.

Develop battery technology to support electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles.

Develop ultracapacitor technology for hybrid electric vehicle applications.

Conduct benchmarking activities for both high power and high energy batteries and ultracapacitors to validate technologies.

Publish technical goals and associated test procedures to guide the development of electrochemical energy storage systems.

http://www.uscar.org/guest/teams/12/U-S-Advanced-Battery-Consortium

HarveyD

Many wonder if USABC is not a Feel Good, low value, automobile industries PR project, with good objectives and very few achievements.

ToppaTom

I assume USABC has value as an auto industry technical and PR project, with good objectives.

The semiconductor industry has had a few consortiums that attempted, with surprising success, to pool funds for R&D that companies could not afford individually, in parallel, to advance the state of the art.
Since the companies are/were competitors, it is surprising that any sharing of ideas and technology occurred, but it did.

I think this is much better than politicians deciding which (dead end design) EV production model they will pick to splurge on.

Private industry may pay its union workers and executives more than they deserve, but if they don’t perform well, they can fire them (well, the executives anyway), and if their business model does not work, they go bankrupt and disappear.

Oh wait, I forgot about the US government. Not satisfied with its own inability to manage the postal service, Medicare, Freddie Mac etc. it found the least solvent automaker, GM, bailed it out then took it from the stockholders and gave it to the unions.

kelly

"Private industry may pay its union workers and executives more than they deserve, but if they don’t perform well, they can fire them (well, the executives anyway), and if their business model does not work, they go bankrupt and disappear."

For executives, there's revolving doors - military/industrial, business/government, etc. This is how 'ex'-Goldman Sacks execs ran the Federal Reserve, 'ex'-Monsanto pros run the FDA, 'Ex'-generals 'consult' etc. The latest Gov Motors CEO officered many bankruptcies, somehow none personal.

The oil driven car firms have a clear PR purpose in USABC, which needn't include battery advancements.

HarveyD

Kelly has many good points.

What I like most about our private industries (specially banks, insurances, financial institutions etc) and their sneaky managers is their ability to attract capital from rather poor people, create attractive bubbles, burst them and make the poor investors lose $S$B while they pocket tax free $$$M. That is how money goes back where it belongs every 10 years or so.

When this game is played over and over again, everybody wants to become one of the embezzlers. That the perfect recipe for a major financial crash. We had, by nature of our system, many of those but we like to forget them quickly enough. The 1929-1939 and 2007-2117+ one may be remembered.

ToppaTom

For executives, there's revolving doors - military/industrial, business/government, etc. This is how Tim Geithner became Sec Treasury, 'ex'-Goldman Sacks execs ran the Federal Reserve, 'ex'-Monsanto pros run the FDA.

The answer for those executives that remain in industry; do not buy stock in that company.
And if you think the products are inferior due to executive salaries (or any reason) do not buy their products. Problem solved.


The answer for those executives that go into government? - Elect only candidates with a history of opposing earmarks, lobbies and graft.
This does not include voting for the likes of Tom DeLay, Charley Rangel or some community organizer with skills from Chicago politics.

What I like most about our private industries (specially banks, insurances, financial institutions etc) and their sneaky managers is that they must attract capital, voluntarily, from people - while the government obligates the banks to finance big houses for the rather poor people (houses that they could not even afford to rent) which creates attractive bubbles which burst and make the all investors lose $S$B - and then the government just takes the money it wants, from those who ARE making their house payments.

When this game is played over and over again, those who believe in the Easter bunny decide the government should take over even more. That completes the recipe for a major downward, national spiral.

kelly

"When this game is played over and over again, those who believe in the Easter bunny decide the government should take over even more. That completes the recipe for a major downward, national spiral."

Only the government has broken monopolies.

Don't forget this is a republic with our Representatives securing our interests, unless outbid.

SJC

The best government money can buy. When there are billions at stake, one can expect some people to make sure those billions keep coming in. It is almost a law of human behavior.

ToppaTom


Yes, if it is not a “law” it’s the next thing to one.
We must deal with the bad aspects of human behavior.

And of course we need the government to prevent/break monopolies.
- and for many other reasons.
No government, doesn’t work too well in Somalia.

But to think the government does not posses the bad aspects of human behavior or that it cannot create unbreakable, damaging monopolies of it's own, is foolish.

Particularly now, when I believe we may have evolved to the point where much of the government is already sold to the lobbies, PACs and big business.

But don’t just be afraid of big business, it exists fine without owning the government; be afraid of what the lobbies, PACs and big businesses own: the government.

Don’t let it sell its clout, chose winners or take over ANYTHING it does not need to. Then there is less reason for big business to buy it, and less damage when they do.

Earmarks, lobbies and PACs should be eliminated.

HarveyD

Earmarks, lobbies and interested groupuscules have to be repaid for their political (financial) support. They run the government, not the elected politicians or puppets.

ai_vin

Elect only candidates with a history of opposing earmarks, lobbies and graft.
This does not include voting for the likes of Tom DeLay, Charley Rangel or some community organizer with skills from Chicago politics.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-04/politics/martin.earmarks_1_earmarks-congress-sen-john-mccain?_s=PM:POLITICS


Henry Gibson

Firefly might have survived with a bit of this money and put out a cheap battery for electric automobiles already. The OASIS was being tested in trucks. ..HG..

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