Argonne National Laboratory battery researchers (from left) Khalil Amine, Chris Johnson, Sun-Ho Kang and Mike Thackeray flank a continuously-stirred tank reactor used to produce scaled-up quantities of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries. Thackeray, Johnson, Amine, and Jaekook Kim (not pictured) are co-inventors of an advanced cathode material licensed to General Motors. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory.
General Motors Co. and the
U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory announced they have
reached a worldwide licensing agreement to use Argonne’s
patented composite cathode material to make advanced lithium-ion batteries that
last longer between charges and can charge at higher voltages.
“The creation of this
battery technology represents an important return on the American investment in
innovative vehicle and battery research,” said Energy Secretary Steven
Chu. “This agreement gives General Motors the ability to use cutting-edge
battery technology throughout its supply chain. The licensing of this
technology will also spur the renewal of the American battery industry,
creating hundreds of new jobs where they are needed most.”
The agreement with Argonne
builds on GM’s commitment to lead the development of vehicle electrification
technologies designed to meet the diverse needs of customers around the world,
said Micky Bly, GM executive director—Electric Systems, Hybrids, Electric
Vehicles and Batteries.
researchers at General Motors are working on next-generation battery systems
that will reduce cost while providing improved performance, expanding the
practicality and affordability of electric vehicles in the future,” Bly
“The goal of Argonne’s
battery research is to support the U.S.
automobile industry,” said Jeff Chamberlain, who heads Argonne’s
Energy Storage Initiative. “The transfer of this technology is a powerful
example of how basic research and technology development performed at a DOE
national laboratory can produce technology that is useful to U.S. citizens.
“The added benefits of
this endeavor are the potential creation of U.S.-based green jobs, lessening U.S.
dependence on foreign sources of oil and a reduction in greenhouse gas
The cathode material
licensed to GM is part of a large, diverse suite of Li-ion battery inventions
and patents developed at Argonne with DOE
funding. The agency also provided funding for early science research that
helped develop this technology. Use of the cathode material will yield advanced
batteries that are high-performing, long-lasting and safe when compared to the
existing technology that has dominated the market for nearly two decades.
Compared with currently
available materials, Argonne’s composite
cathode material has a unique combination of lithium- and manganese-rich
mixed-metal oxides in a stable materials-design approach that will:
- Extend the
operating time between charges and increase the calendar life of batteries
- Improve the
inherent safety of lithium-ion cells
- Allow charging
at higher voltages, which leads to a substantially higher energy storage
“The fact that GM is including Argonne’s novel composite cathode
material in their commercialization process is a testament to the world-class
scientists performing research in this area at Argonne and the long-term vision
and commitment by DOE,” said Eric Isaacs, Argonne director and president
of the UChicago Argonne, LLC, a wholly-owned laboratory management subsidiary
of the Univ. of Chicago.