SOUTHFIELD — The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC, an organization whose members are Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, Monday announced the award of a $5.48 million lithium-ion battery technology development contract to Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc.

The award, which completes work begun under previous contracts, is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and includes a 50 percent cost-share by Johnson Controls. USABC awarded the contract to continue Johnson Controls’ development of lithium-ion battery technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle  applications to meet USABC goals for low cost, long life, high power and high energy vehicle systems.

The focus of this 24-month program is to further increase the volumetric energy density of a hard-cased prismatic cell technology developed in a preceding USABC-Johnson Controls program through a combination of innovative material and processing advances. The improved energy density is aimed at reducing cost, volume and mass. All cells will be built either in Johnson Controls Battery Technology Center in Milwaukee or its Li-ion manufacturing facility in Holland.   USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC. Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. As such, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure its progress.

The new contract is USABC’s third with Johnson Controls, whose previous research with USABC included competitively bid contracts for the development of battery cell, module and pack technology for PHEV applications and lithium-ion battery systems development for hybrid electric vehicles.

DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program works with industry, academia and national laboratories to develop advanced transportation technologies that reduce the nation’s use of imported oil and increase its energy security. Electrochemical energy storage has been identified as a critical enabling technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicles.

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