U.S Department of Energy Supports New Electric & Hybrid Car Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this summer, awarded 2.4 billion dollars in stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to, “accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of the next generation of U.S. batteries and electric vehicles”. The goal of the stimulus money was to promote and support three initiatives

  • Sustain clean energy research
  • Secure the nation’s energy sources
  • Reduce the United States dependency on foreign oil
A123 Systems Awarded DOE Grant:
One of the award winners, who received the 2nd largest grant of 249 million dollars, was A123 Systems headquartered in Watertown, MA. A123 Systems is working on a new class of Automotive Lithium Ion cells that deliver a new combination of power and safety, enabling design flexibility in transportation applications and vehicle platform electrification. The grant is a part of the DOE’s Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, and will assist with A123‘s objective of building a world-class lithium ion battery manufacturing facility in the U.S.
A123’s Technology:
A123 Systems uses Nanophosphate chemistry to develop several electrode technologies. The M1 cells found in A123’s batteries provide, “high power with excellent durability. M1Ultra cells offer leading power to energy ratios and are optimized for HEV and Heavy Duty applications... M1HD cells are designed to deliver both high power and high energy density required for use in PHEV, ReEV and EV applications.”
Characteristics of Nanophosphates:
  • A magnitude smaller than conventional oxide-based phosphate materials
  • Proprietary doping of particles that results in significantly faster phase-change dynamics
  • A high rate capability (essential for high power systems)
  • Discharge rate of up to 100C

The batteries produced by A123 Systems allow for increased energy ratios, expanded longevity during application use, and increased cost effectiveness.