The Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have announced they are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory to establish a Battery Manufacturing R&D Center to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications.

According to the partners, such advanced batteries will aid in securing U.S. energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as help strengthen the economy.

The R&D center's major goals will be to:

  • Support the development of a viable U.S. battery manufacturing industry
  • Make it easier for federal laboratories, universities, manufacturers, suppliers and end-users to collaborate
  • Develop advanced manufacturing technology to reduce advanced battery production costs
  • Accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at national laboratories and universities

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The Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have announced they are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory to establish a Battery Manufacturing R&D Center to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications.

According to the partners, such advanced batteries will aid in securing U.S. energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as help strengthen the economy.

The R&D center's major goals will be to:

  • Support the development of a viable U.S. battery manufacturing industry
  • Make it easier for federal laboratories, universities, manufacturers, suppliers and end-users to collaborate
  • Develop advanced manufacturing technology to reduce advanced battery production costs
  • Accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at national laboratories and universities

The center will be located in central Kentucky to leverage the expertise and research facilities at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Complementary R&D capabilities and facilities will also be located at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL.

The Kentucky universities will contribute land, buildings, donor funds, R&D grants funds and researchers. The center may also be eligible to receive funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky through bonds, research tax credits and other incentives programs for future spin-off companies. Argonne and Kentucky will also pursue other funding opportunities.

The formation of a Battery Manufacturing R&D Center has been endorsed by Ford Motor Co. as well as by battery manufacturers, including those in the recently formed National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, which was organized to produce advanced lithium-ion battery cells for transportation applications in the U.S.

"Advanced batteries will play a significant role in the future energy and economic security of the United States," said Gov. Steve Beshear (KY-D). "At this time, however, nearly all large-scale advanced battery production is in Asia, with the United States having only limited manufacturing capabilities. To address this situation, the United States must quickly develop improved advanced battery technologies and significantly ramp up domestic production capabilities in order to become the hands-down global leader of these technologies."

"The center will initially focus on lithium-ion battery manufacturing R&D," said Mark Peters, Deputy Associate Laboratory Director of Energy Sciences & Engineering at Argonne. "In the long-term, the center would help in the development of technologies that would enable a significant increase in energy densities, including lithium-air and zinc-air systems for vehicle applications and advanced batteries for cost efficient and long-life grid power storage applications."

"The Kentucky-Argonne partnership will help in turning the tide on U.S. battery development and support President Obama's goal to have one million Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles on the road by 2015," Argonne Director Robert Rosner said. "It will help to bridge the gap between research and commercialization by facilitating the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing processes for lithium-ion and other advanced batteries."