GM and LG Chem pen new agreement with Argonne for next-gen battery technology

General Motors has licensed the use of patented material for next-generation battery packs developed by the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Next-generation battery packs for the future Chevy Volts could have 50 to 100 percent more battery life. GM

General Motors is looking ahead to next-generation battery packs that are lighter and have a longer life.

The Detroit automaker and LG Chem, today announced a new licensing agreement to use Argonne National Laboratory's patented composite cathode material for lithium ion battery packs for the Volt.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne has developed a suite of lithium ion battery inventions and patents that will reduce price and improve performance for the next-gen battery systems.

Cathy Zoi, acting undersecretary of energy and assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said the DOE has been working with companies like Argonne for the last 11 years to increase the range of electric vehicles.

President of GM's Ventures, Jon Lauckner, called the new lithium and nickel-manganese-cobalt cathode combination uses the most advanced cathode material available.

"This is cutting-edge technology that is going to improve future electrified vehicles--pure electrics, extended-range electrics and plug-in hybrids," Lauckner said.

The new agreement doesn't cut current Volt battery-maker LG Chem out of the picture. Research Director Mohamed Alamgir, said the South Korean-based company was opening a new battery plant in Holland, Mich. This location will begin production of the new battery packs in 2012 and will employ up to 400 people.

"The fact that GM is including Argonne's novel composite cathode material in their commercialization process is a testament to the world-class scientists performing research in this area at Argonne and the long-term vision and commitment by DOE," said Argonne Director Eric Isaacs.

"This is an excellent example of how research investments can lead to new opportunities, new industries, and new jobs as technology developed in the laboratory is transferred to the marketplace," Isaacs added.

 

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