GM Makes a Deal for Cheaper LongerLasting ElectricCar Batteries DailyFinance

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GM Makes a Deal for Cheaper, Electric-Car Batteries

Updated Jan 7th 3:21PM

General Motors (GM ) recently began to ship the Volt, the company’s first hybrid electric car, but the carmaker is already looking for new technologies that might its future electric cars an Thanks to the U.S. Department of it has at least one in mind: GM said it has licensed a technology from a laboratory that will the performance of lithium-ion battery that power electric

GM’s deal gives it the to use a cutting-edge composite material forms the cathode, one of the three key of a battery cell. The technology was at the Energy Department’s Argonne Laboratory in Illinois, and it promises to safer, cheaper batteries longer operating lives can also go further between said GM Ventures President Jon during a press conference

This license will GM to continue to work on next-generation systems, to reduce cost and the performance of those systems, said.

A battery is made up of an on one side and cathode on the other, an electrolyte in between. To produce chemical reactions prompt to move from the anode to the via the electrolyte, which separates the from protons. The cell harvests the electrons as power.

car battery pack has multiple

GM describes the new cathode material as a combination of lithium- and manganese-rich oxides in a stable-materials design.

Building High-Tech Batteries in

GM and officials from the lab and the Energy called a press conference to the deal as an example of how publicly research can improve people’s Argonne has a long history of battery research, and it has amassed a portfolio of patents in the area. The of the electric-car market puts a new on these research efforts.

The of this material represents an return on taxpayers’ money, Argonne Director Eric This licensing of technology help spur and renew the battery industry and create new

Some of the jobs will from a new $303 million factory being built in Mich. by South Korea-based LG which has licensed the same cathode technology. With partly funded by a $151.4 federal grant awarded in the factory is set to start production year, said Mohamed research director of LG Chem during the conference call. The already supplies GM with cells to power the Volt, GM began shipping to dealers month.

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Jump-Starting Electric Cars

The launched a massive marketing for the Volt long before the one rolled off the assembly line. GM the car’s price tag last — about $41,000, buyers eligible for a $7,500 tax But as the market for electric cars the Energy Department reckons the boost in manufacturing will cut the of batteries — a significant of the cost of an electric car — by than half.

The federal government has spent of dollars to jump-start the electric-car In 2009, it announced $2.4 in grants for a host of car, and other auto-parts manufacturers, as as companies that make and charging equipment, and researchers at and national labs. GM and Ford (F ) are the winners.

Other car companies for a slice of the electric-car market Nissan (NSANY ) and Tesla (TSLA ). Nissan has rolled out its LEAF. Tesla sells an electric sports car, the Roadster, and plans to start its more affordable family the Model S, in 2012.

On Friday, unveiled the Focus Electric at the Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The plans to start selling all-electric model later year, but has yet to announce the car’s The car can go roughly 100 miles per charge, and it take three to four to charge the battery by using a charger. With a 120-volt the charging will take 16 to 20 .

The licensing deal for LG Chem the U.S. market, and LG Chem can use the to make cells for other as well. GM’s licensing on the other hand, is worldwide but not so Argonne can license the technology to companies, including GM’s The Ford Focus Electric, for will be using battery containing cells from LG

Licensing technical know-how the basis for research and development and those efforts can take to come to fruition with a product. But LG Chem will be to use the composite cathode technology in the starting next year it has been working with the material in Korea, Jeff manager of Argonne’s battery programs, told reporters. longer-lasting, cheaper zip to electric could be key to sparking consumer

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