USABC awards Cobasys $8.4M for the development of high-energy density Li-ion cells and packs for EVs
The US Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) has awarded Cobasys, a subsidiary of SB LiMotive, an $8.4-million contract to develop high-energy lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicle applications. The competitively bid contract Cobasys award from USABC is co-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and includes a 50% cost-share.
Cobasys has been contracted for the design, development, delivery and validation of conforming design-intent cells, and through the design, development, delivery and verification of a 40 kWh technology demonstration battery pack. The focus of the project is to produce high-energy density cells and packs for electric vehicle applications to increase the current state-of-the-art battery-pack density by 50% in a three-year period.
Cobasys, with two sites in Orion, Mich., and Springboro, Ohio, was acquired by SB LiMotive in 2009. SB LiMotive was established in September 2008 as a joint venture between Bosch and Samsung SDI. The objective of the alliance is to adapt lithium-ion battery technology to the requirements of automobiles, and thus explore the market for hybrid and electric vehicles. Together, the companies will have invested approximately $500 million in the joint venture by 2013.
USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), the collaborative automotive technology organization of Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, whose mission is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development. SB LiMotive bundles the know-how of both its parent companies.
Samsung SDI brings its extensive large-scale production experience into the partnership as well as manufacturing competence in the area of lithium-ion cell production. Additionally Samsung is a leader in lithium-ion technology for use in a wide range of applications, including laptops, cell phones and power tools. Bosch contributes its comprehensive automotive systems competence which is being applied to integrating the lithium-ion technology into the vehicle. Bosch has extensive experience in hybrid and electric drive technology as well as power electronics, electric motors, transmissions and DC/DC converters.
Further, Bosch in the US is also engaging in research on the cell side as well. At the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC this week, Bosch engineers were present in the technology showcase to discuss their work with MIT on developing a cell with a goal of a specific energy density of 600 Wh/kg that also achieves the requisite power, life, safety and cost to enable mass EV adoption. (Were such an innovation successfully developed, they noted, the technology would flow to Cobasys for commercialization.)
SB LiMotive has its global foothold in all three major economic regions of the world: Asia, Europe and the Americas. The company has its headquarters and cell development and validation departments in Giheung, Korea and manufacturing facility in Ulsan. In Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Germany, battery systems are developed and prototypes built. At its location in Germany, SB LiMotive has built up a global team for sales, marketing, and management of key accounts.