Argonne, Kentucky Partner to Help Build Domestic Battery Industry

A national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center will be established to help develop advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications and to ramp up domestic production capabilities.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (, Argonne, Ill., announced recently that it is partnering with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky ( and the University of Louisville ( to establish a national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center. The center will be established to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications that will aid in securing U.S. energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in strengthening the economy.

“Advanced batteries will play a significant role in the future energy and economic security of the United States,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “At this time, 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.”

Tide turning

“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,” said Argonne Director Robert Rosner. “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.”

The center’s major goals would be to support the development of a viable U.S. battery manufacturing industry; make it easier for federal labs, universities, manufacturers, suppliers, and end-users to collaborate; develop advanced manufacturing technology to reduce advanced battery production costs; and accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at national laboratories and universities.

“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.”

Ford endorsement

The formation of a national Battery Manufacturing R&D Center has been endorsed by Ford Motor Co., as well as 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 United States.

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

Argonne National Laboratory

University of Kentucky

University of Louisville

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