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National Lab Signs Two Auto Battery Licensing Deals

Chevrolet Volt and battery replica (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

A Chevrolet Volt and replica of the t-shaped battery pack (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, announced two licensing agreements today (6 January 2011) for its cathode material technology used in electric vehicle lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. The deals are with or involve cars made by General Motors.

The first agreement, with General Motors, involves the worldwide licensing of Argonne Lab’s composite cathode material throughout the company’s supply chain. Argonne says the material, made from a combination of lithium- and manganese-rich mixed-metal oxides, helps Li-ion batteries last longer between charges. The material also enables the batteries to charge at higher voltages, which gives them greater energy storage capacity.

In the second agreement, LG Chem Ltd. of Troy, Michigan agreed to license Argonne Lab’s battery cathode material specifically for GM’s Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid vehicle unveiled last year. LG Chem plans to manufacture Li-ion polymer battery cells for the Volt at a Recovery Act-funded production facility under construction in Holland, Michigan. The plant will employ more than 400 people.

Related: Granholm Offers Michigan as Template for Clean Energy Economy

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