DOE Invests in Advanced Materials for Automotive Market

Aug. 12, 2011
Nanosys receives $11 million.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is making investments in materials that increase vehicle efficient and toward that goal it announced on August 11 a grant to Nanosys to refine and bring to scale its SiNANOdeTM materials for the automotive market.

These innovations will enable Electric Vehicles (EVs) to travel 300 miles on a single charge. The agency has set a target for bringing the cost of lithium-ion batteries down to 250/kWh and increasing capacity to 300 miles per charge for the next generation of EVs.

In addition to the primary DOE award of $4.8 million, approximately $ 6 million will be spent, through sub-awards and matches by the DOE and Nanosys, in the development and commercialization of advanced material technologies and manufacturing in the United States.

"The future of a clean energy economy depends on increased adoption of electric and hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles," said Jason Hartlove, CEO of Nanosys, an Calif.-based provider of materials. "Until such vehicles are able to achieve substantial operating range on a single charge with the economics of combustion vehicles, acceptance will be limited to early adopters."

DOE's comprehensive approach is aimed at creating new innovations throughout the vehicle, including high capacity electric vehicle batteries and components that should significantly exceed existing state-of-the-art technologies in terms of performance and/or cost. "The Department of Energy is investing in new advanced technologies that will significantly improve vehicle fuel economy, save consumers money, and create skilled jobs for Americans," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Investments in the next generation of autos will strengthen our economy and lead to a more fuel-efficient, clean energy future."

In addition to EVs, Nanosys is currently working with domestic and international battery manufacturers to improve lithium-ion battery capacity using SiNANOdeTM in batteries for laptops and tablets, smart phones and other electronic devices.

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