Applied battery research addresses the barriers facing the lithium-ion systems that are closest to meeting the technical energy and power requirements for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and electric vehicle (EV) applications. In addition, applied battery research concentrates on technology transfer to ensure that the research results and lessons learned are effectively provided to U.S. automotive and battery manufacturers. The work concentrates on four research areas:

  • Battery system development and electrochemical diagnostics,
  • Battery testing and electrolyte development,
  • Spectroscopy and microscopy diagnostics, including X-ray diagnostics, and
  • Abuse evaluation, accelerated-life test procedures and statistical analysis.

Several types of batteries have been investigated for use in EVs and HEVs, among them lithium-aluminum-iron-sulfide, nickel-metal hydride, lithium-ion, and lithium-polymer. Lithium-ion batteries are the newest and fastest growing rechargeable battery technology. These systems come closest to meeting all of the technical requirements, but they face four barriers for automotive use: calendar life, low-temperature performance, abuse tolerance, and cost. This work has produced a number of documents for developers, which are available from the USCAR Electrochemical Energy Storage Tech Team Website.