A brand-new lab has opened its doors at the University of Michigan, and its purpose is to change the world – or at least the world of battery-powered vehicles!
Ford is investing in a new battery lab, which will help develop smaller and lighter batteries that are less expensive to produce. The lab is an effort between Ford, the University of Michigan, battery suppliers and state and federal governments, as well as investors such as Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. What could also potentially come out of this collaboration is the ability to produce more efficient and affordable battery-powered vehicles, and ones that could go farther on a single charge.
The other cool thing about this effort is it’s putting Michigan at the heart of battery research, not just battery production. Ford has a rich history in battery research, to the tune of 20 years. And now, it can also test experimental battery concepts on a small scale. It may be hard to believe, but battery research is still in its youth years.
“We have battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but that is too late in the development process for us to get our first look,” said Ted Miller, who manages battery research for Ford. “This lab will give us a stepping-stone between the research lab and the production environment, and a chance to have input much earlier in the development process. This is sorely needed, and no one else in the auto industry has anything like it.”