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U.S. ADVANCED BATTERY CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES $54 MILLION IN BATTERY DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTS; THREE MORE NATIONAL LABS JOIN USABC RESEARCH

 U.S. ADVANCED BATTERY CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCES $54 MILLION IN BATTERY
 DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTS; THREE MORE NATIONAL LABS JOIN USABC RESEARCH
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) today announced contracts totaling $54 million with three commercial battery and battery component companies and three U.S. National Laboratories for development of high energy batteries that could make future electric vehicles a more viable component of the U.S. transportation system.
 W.R. Grace & Co. and its partner Johnson Controls, Inc., and Saft America Inc. have been awarded contracts totaling $42 million. In addition, Delco Remy Division of General Motors Corporation and its partner Valence Technology, Inc., have been selected to receive a contract subject to Department of Energy (DOE) approval. Length and monetary amount of the agreement will be released following approval.
 The advanced battery development projects will be complemented with research currently being conducted at Sandia and Argonne National Laboratories and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory under three new Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) totaling $12.2 million.
 The three new CRADAs are in addition to the $3.3 and $1.1 million CRADAs signed earlier this year with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, respectively, and bring USABC's total 1992 investment in battery development to approximately $77 million.
 USABC was formed in January 1991 as a partnership of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, with participation from the electric utility industry through the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). In October 1991, USABC officially became a four-year, $260 million joint government/industry research project to develop a new generation of batteries for electric vehicles.
 "The new advanced battery contracts represent more than just an enhanced technological leadership role for U.S. battery and electric vehicle manufacturers," said the DOE's J. Michael Davis, Assistant Secretary of Conservation and Renewable Energy. "By including the research and testing expertise of our national laboratories as members of this vital technology development, we are fully utilizing some of this country's brightest scientists to explore the energy conservation and environmental benefits of future electric vehicles."
 The contracts cover two different advanced battery technologies representing long-term goals set forth by USABC. Those goals include performance, manufacturing, cost, safety, recycling and environmental impact requirements.
 The USABC has set mid-term goals for battery systems to broaden the capability of electric vehicles in the mid-1990s, including at least doubling the vehicle range, allowing for more passengers or cargo to be carried and extending the life of the battery system.
 The USABC long-term goals are to develop batteries that essentially double the mid-term goals and allow electric vehicles to have performance and be cost competitive with current gasoline-powered vehicles by the late 1990s.
 Long-term lithium-polymer battery systems will be developed by W.R. Grace/Johnson Controls and Delco Remy/Valence, while Saft America will pursue a long-term lithium (metal)-sulfide battery.
 "Advanced batteries are important to electric utilities because our electric power companies will supply the energy stored in the batteries," said Jack Guy, USABC business manager at the EPRI. "This joint effort eliminates overlapping research by the government, the utility industry, the automakers and battery companies, focusing the investment where we have the greatest chance for success."
 The USABC announced its first battery contract last May with Ovonic Battery Company (Troy, Mich.) for development of mid-term nickel-metal hydride batteries. According to the USABC Technical Advisory Committee, Ovonic's progress has been substantial.
 The new USABC contracts reveal two of the most promising long-term advanced battery technologies, lithium-polymer electrolyte and lithium (metal)-sulfide.
 LITHIUM-POLYMER ELECTROLYTE
 Lithium-polymer battery technology offers great promise as an electric vehicle battery. Ambient and elevated temperature lithium batteries may provide high energy and power densities, the two key elements necessary for performance and range of electric vehicles competitive with today's gasoline-powered vehicles. Polymer electrolytes add packaging opportunities unavailable in liquid systems.
 Non-rechargeable batteries using lithium or lithium alloys for negative electrodes have been under development for several years and have been successfully commercialized for electronics applications. USABC believes that a high performance, low cost, long life and safe battery might be possible for electric vehicle applications.
 "Considerable research and development work is needed before rechargeable lithium systems can become a viable candidate for electric vehicle propulsion," said Davis. "That is why we are tapping the expertise of W.R. Grace, Delco Remy, their partners and subcontractors, and the Sandia, Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in our first attempt at harnessing the potential of lithium-polymer technology."
 W.R. Grace/Johnson Controls Contract
 W.R. Grace, its partner Johnson Controls Battery Group, and their affiliates -- SRI International, EIC Laboratories, UCAR Carbon Company Inc. -- will develop a thin-film lithium-polymer bipolar battery utilizing solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs). SPEs have been proposed as the medium for lithium ions to move in the battery and thus alleviate some of the problems inherent to organic liquid electrolytes such as reaction with the lithium negative electrode, gas venting and the need for sophisticated seals to contain the liquids. The group believes SPEs in an all solid-state lithium battery can provide high specific energy and power with possible advantages of a low self discharge rate, high reliability, safety and recyclability.
 "We are enthusiastic about the program prospects," said Dr. F. Peter Boer, Grace executive vice president and chief technical officer. "Not only is it an exciting commercial opportunity, but the Grace/Johnson Controls team will be helping to strengthen domestic competitiveness while contributing to a cleaner environment."
 W.R. Grace will provide its expertise in chemical products and film making, especially in the area of thin-film polymer processing. Johnson Controls Battery Group is a major automotive supplier of batteries and brings its expertise as a low cost manufacturer and its experience with high voltage battery systems.
 SRI International (Menlo Park, Calif.) contributes its fundamental solid-polymer electrolyte technology while EIC Laboratories (Norwood, Mass.) adds its cathode-materials development along with its solid- polymer electrolyte expertise. UCAR Carbon Company (Parma, Ohio) brings expertise in carbon-based materials.
 The Grace team will also receive technology from USABC-funded activities under CRADAs with two DOE national labs. Sandia National Lab (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley, Calif.) will research materials and conduct fundamental studies related to lithium-polymer batteries.
 The Grace/Johnson Controls agreement is a planned $24.5 million, three-year program with a $6.3 million, first-year contract.
 W.R. Grace, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., is the world's largest producer of battery separators and is the world's largest specialty chemicals company. Johnson Controls, headquartered in Milwaukee, is the largest domestic supplier of automotive batteries.
 Tentative Delco Remy/Valence Contract
 Delco Remy Division of General Motors has been selected by USABC for a battery contract award subject to DOE approval. Contract specifics, including length and monetary value, will be released provided all parties reach final agreement.
 The ambient-temperature lithium-polymer system is being jointly developed by Delco Remy and Valence Technology, Inc. The battery utilizes lithium metals as anode materials, a vanadium-oxide based system as the cathode and proprietary single-phase solid-state flexible polymer electrolyte.
 Delco Remy, headquartered in Anderson, Ind., is a major developer and manufacturer of batteries for the automotive industry. Valence Technology, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., owns the key patents and proprietary information which make this battery feasible. Valence provides its expertise in processing the materials into battery cells; Delco Remy will provide the technology to integrate the devices into battery systems. The two companies have jointly developed the technology and have progressed to the demonstration phase of relatively large battery systems providing high power and energy for future electric vehicles.
 LITHIUM (METAL)-SULFIDE
 The lithium (metal)-sulfide battery is a promising elevated temperature battery based on a lithium alloy/molten salt/metal sulfide electrochemical system. The molten salt technology provides for high power capability which translates into better acceleration for electric vehicles compared to current technology.
 Pioneered during the 1970s by researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill., its advantages include energy and power densities that may provide electric vehicles with the performance equal to that of today's internal combustion engine vehicles. The technology has demonstrated a capability approaching the USABC long-term performance criteria, particularly for specific power and power density.
 Further potential advantages of the lithium (metal)-sulfide battery include relatively small size and low weight, long life, a cost per kilowatt-hour similar to today's most inexpensive batteries and low manufacturing costs. In addition, the battery system is composed of iron disulfide and lithium-aluminum alloy, materials that are both environment-sensitive and with the potential for complete recyclability.
 Saft America Contract
 "Saft America is a leading manufacturer of all types of high technology primary energy systems such as lithium and thermal batteries, and secondary power systems which include nickel-cadmium batteries," said Davis. "Saft is the leading supplier of lithium batteries to the U.S. government and offers the widest range of lithium batteries to the market place. We believe their expertise makes them a logical candidate to pursue this promising long-term technology."
 Under the terms of the three-year, $17.3 million USABC contract, Saft America Inc. will pursue a bipolar form of the lithium (aluminum)- iron disulfide battery first developed at Argonne. Saft America researchers, based in Cockeysville, Md., will work with Argonne throughout the development program. Saft will have lead responsibility for module development tasks with Argonne providing technical support.
 "These agreements represent a significant milestone for U.S. industry," said Frank D. Westfall, Saft America president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to be part of the process where technology transfer from defense to commercial markets will provide U.S. jobs and opportunities. The prospect of improving the environment at the same time adds even further to the technology dividend."
 Saft lithium batteries, manufactured in the United States in Valdese, N.C., are currently used to provide long-lasting power for portable communications equipment, computer equipment metering applications, medical applications, emergency locator transmitters, telemetric sensing devices and weapons systems. Saft thermal batteries are generally used for military applications including portable surface- to-air missiles, intercontinental ballistic missiles, tactical munitions dispensers, torpedoes and artillery projectiles.
 CRADAs
 Three DOE national labs have signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with USABC to further enhance the development, research and testing of advanced battery systems. Authorized by the National Competitiveness Technology Transfer Act and the Federal Technology Transfer Act, CRADAs allow government research facilities to participate in commercial development programs.
 In addition to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colo.) and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory research agreements announced earlier this year, Sandia National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory are now team members in the development of advanced battery systems.
 Sandia National Lab and USABC have signed a $3 million, 12-month agreement for applied research on materials for lithium-polymer batteries. In addition, SNL will conduct tests of elevated temperature batteries provided by USABC contractors.
 Argonne National Laboratory has signed two CRADAs with USABC. A $7.3 million, 38-month agreement includes research on lithium (metal)- sulfide technology for which ANL has been the inventor and principal developer. The second CRADA, a $1 million, 36-month agreement, is for nickel-metal hydride and high-temperature battery testing.
 Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho, has signed a $900,000, 24-month CRADA for nickel-metal hydride and high- temperature battery pack testing.
 USABC FUNDING
 USABC funding is a 50/50 public/private cost share, with the private financial component provided by the USABC automotive partners, EPRI and its participating utilities, and from contracted battery developers and their subcontractors. The participating utilities are Southern Company Services Inc. (Atlanta), Southern California Edison Company (Rosemead, Calif.), Public Service Electric and Gas Company, Inc. (Newark, N.J.), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (San Francisco) and Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation (New York). Public funding is provided by the DOE.
 USABC is one of nine research and development consortia organized by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors as part of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR).
 GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS
 Anode The electrode in a battery which releases
 electrons to an external circuit and ions
 into the electrolyte.
 Battery Module A single unit of battery cells connected in
 series or parallel.
 Battery Pack A group of battery cells or modules connected
 in serial or parallel arrangement, fully
 configured as a unit meeting the voltage and
 packaging requirements of a vehicle.
 Battery System A completely functional complex battery which
 includes battery packs, battery support
 equipment such as thermal management systems,
 and battery controls.
 Bipolar Design Each electrode in the battery system is both
 a positive and negative electrode. Current
 flows through the cells in the axis. The
 advantage of bipolar cell configuration
 versus monopolar configuration is a
 significant volume savings and higher power
 capability.
 Cathode The electrode in a battery which accepts
 electrons from the external circuit and ions
 from the electrolyte.
 Current The movement of electrons through a circuit.
 Current Collector Electrically conductive material, usually a
 metal, that is in contact with cathode and
 anode materials so as to allow the transport
 of electrons from the anode through an
 external circuit to the cathode.
 Discharge Profile The variation in the battery's voltage as
 it discharges
 Electrolyte The medium in a battery which provides the
 ion transport mechanism between the anode
 and cathode.
 Electron An elementary particle having a negative
 charge.
 Energy Density The total quantity of electrical energy in a
 battery expressed as a function of volume
 (e.g., Watt-hours per liter) or weight
 (e.g., Watt-hours per kilogram).
 Ion An atom or molecule that has acquired an
 electrical charge by the loss or gain of
 electrons.
 Lithium A soft, low density alkali earth metal with
 high electrochemical potential.
 Monopolar Design Similar to current automotive battery designs
 where each cell consists of several parallel
 positive and negative electrodes.
 Polymer A large molecule that is made by bonding
 together many smaller identical molecules.
 Primary Battery A battery that is not rechargeable.
 Rechargeable Battery A battery that, after discharge, may be
 restored close to the fully charged state by
 the passage of electric current through the
 battery in the opposite direction to that of
 discharge.
 Self-Discharge The rate at which a charged battery loses
 energy while not in use.
 Voltage The force that moves electrons in an
 electric current.
 Watt-hour (Wh) A unit of measurement for the energy drawn
 from a battery per hour.
 -0- 10/29/92
 /CONTACT: Jason Vines of Chrysler Corp. (Primary USABC Contact),


313-576-8095; Carolyn Gay of DOE, 202-586-1085; Chuck Suits of W.R. Grace, 407-362-1335; Glen Ponczak of Johnson Controls, 414-228-2375; George Cole of INEL, 208-526-9471; Jeff Kahn of Lawrence Berkeley, 510-486-5028; Beryl Goldsweig of Ford Motor Co., 313-337-2456; Jack Guy of EPRI, 415-855-2803; Marcia Dukes of Saft America, 912-247-2331; Christine Russell of Valence, 408-365-6125; Dave Baurac of Argonne, 708-252-5584; Mary Roznowski of General Motors Corp., 313-986-5717; Larry Weis of USCAR, 313-248-4298; Milton Beach of Delco Remy, 317-646-3367; Dan Hartley of Sandia, 505-845-9588; or Griffin Thompson of NREL, 202-484-1090/ CO: U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium;
 United States Council for Automotive Research ST: District of Columbia, Michigan IN: AUT SU: CON


ML-JG -- DE011 -- 6494 10/29/92 10:40 EST
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