General Electric and BASF are among the 22 organizations to receive a total of $36 million from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop electric vehicle energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs.
The ARPA-E’s program, Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems (RANGE), aims to accelerate widespread EV adoption by improving driving range and reliability, and providing low-cost, low-carbon alternatives to today’s vehicles.
BASF will receive $4 million to develop metal hydride alloys using new, low-cost metals for use in high-energy nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, which the company says could offer lower cost and improved capacity while maintaining many of the traditional NiMH battery characteristics such as simple design, low volume and long service life.
GE will receive $899,958 to develop a high-energy chemistry for a water-based flow battery. If successful, GE says its new chemistry could allow EVs to use flow batteries, which would improve driving range, cost and reliability.
Other projects selected include Louisville, Colo.-based Solid Power, which will receive about $3.5 million to develop a solid-state lithium-ion battery that requires less protective packaging, which reduces cost and overall vehicle weight to improve driving range. And the University of California, San Diego will receive about $3.5 million to engineer a low-cost, low-weight battery and to redesign vehicle frames so the battery becomes an integral part of a vehicle’s support structure.
The other 18 organizations receiving RANGE project funding are: University of Houston; EnZinc; Princeton University; University of California, Los Angeles; Jet Propulsion Laboratory; University of Maryland; Cloteam; Stanford University; Arizona State University; Penn State University; Purdue University; Quallion; Illinois Institute of Technology; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Ceramatec and Bettergy.
Last month, General Motor’s OnStar said it is working on a project with TimberRock Energy Solutions that uses aggregation software and solar charging canopies with integrated storage to manage the flow of solar power to benefit the electric grid. It will be the first “real-world” use of OnStar’s smart grid technology.