UM, Ford join in battery-lab project
The University of Michigan has cut the ribbon on an $88 million battery lab at its Energy Institute in Ann Arbor. The lab is expected to be operating by October 2014. Ford Motor Co. is partnering with UM in the project to develop cheaper and more efficient batteries that will make electrified cars more affordable.
Materials scientists, engineers, manufacturers and suppliers will work together to build and test battery cells, evaluate new technology and study how materials degrade over time. The lab will include prototyping, testing and analyzing batteries and the materials that go into them. It will also provide training for the next generation of battery engineers.
The Energy Institute envisions the new facility as a safe zone for non-competitive collaboration, and the lab will be available to any firm. Automakers, suppliers, students and consumers will benefit from the work done at the lab. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ford and UM have contributed to funding the project.