Battery systems research focuses on testing, evaluating, and developing energy storage technologies in close collaboration with developers and the automotive industry. This work is primarily accomplished through the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a partnership among the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors. Working with manufacturers and the DOE national laboratories, USABC pursues research and development (R&D) of advanced energy systems capable of providing future generations of electric vehicles with significantly increased range and performance. This work concentrates on three areas:
- Full system development for electric and hybrid electric vehicle applications;
- Assessment of laboratory-proven technologies and the technology developer’s ability to develop and deliver a full-scale, fully packaged battery; and
- Benchmark testing of emerging technologies.
This area maintains a balance between R&D projects that aim to directly aid the introduction of advanced energy storage technologies into the automotive marketplace. Work focuses on electrochemical energy storage systems, especially rechargeable batteries. Researchers maintain a balanced portfolio of R&D projects aimed at overcoming the barriers hindering the commercial viability of advanced energy storage systems in electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Specific research and development projects in the battery systems area focus on
- Evaluating rechargeable batteries and battery components;
- Performing thermal modeling and measurements;
- Evaluating fuel cell/battery and internal combustion engine/battery interactions during simulated driving cycles;
- Conducting failure analysis; and
- Performing diagnostics, safety, and abuse testing.
This work has produced a number of test manuals for developers, including the Abuse Test Procedures Manual, the FreedomCAR Battery Test Manual for Power-Assist HEVs, and the Technology Life Verification Test Manual, which are available from the USCAR Electrochemical Energy Storage Tech Team Website.