Penn State-led team receives $3 million to research hybrid car batteries

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A Penn State-led team has won a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) for applied battery research.

The two-year grant from the DOE's Vehicle Technology Office supports the project "High Energy, Long Cycle Life Lithium-ion Batteries for PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) Applications."

Penn State serves as the main principal investigator (PI) on the grant, with the University of Texas at Austin and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as co-PIs. Also partnering on the grant is the Argonne National Laboratory and industrial power products firm EC Power.

Donghai Wang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator, said the focus of the project is to explore advanced materials for use in future power cells. Specifically, the effort looks to develop high-energy, high-power lithium-ion batteries for use in PHEVs.

The aim, Wang said, is to extend the range of hybrid vehicles by developing high-performance batteries that have a greater energy and power density, longer lifespan and are safer.

Of the $17 million awarded by the DOE Vehicle Technology Office for applied battery research for improvements in cell chemistry, composition and processing, the Penn State-led effort is the only project headed by a university.

Last Updated October 01, 2013