- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A new lab at the University of Michigan aims to expand battery research and manufacturing across the Midwest as part of a broader effort to improve power for electric vehicles and consumer products as well as energy storage.

The University of Michigan Energy Institute’s Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility, or Battery Lab, opened Friday and is designed to provide space to build and test battery concepts while protecting the intellectual property of its users.

“This infrastructure investment is key to achieving the breakthroughs needed to make both electric vehicles and grid storage viable at all the scales needed for the future,” Mark Barteau, director of the school’s Energy Institute, said in a statement.

Construction on the lab took place over 18 months. The facility is funded with a $2 million investment from the university, with $5 million in additional financial support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and $2.1 million from Ford Motor Co.

“Innovation is our goal,” said Ted Miller, senior manager of energy storage strategy and research at Dearborn-based Ford. “We have a vision of accelerating vehicle battery technology and making Michigan the battery capital of the country, and the Battery Lab helps us reach our goal.”

Users at the lab will be able to build and work with several types of batteries, including ones for small electrical devices and those used in laptops.

The lab will serve as a base for the Ann Arbor school’s research and development efforts as a partner in the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. It also will provide new capability to support the vehicle electrification efforts of the CERC-Clean Vehicles Consortium.




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