California Company Developing Low-Cost, Fast-Charge EV Battery Tech


Zenlabs Energy Inc. of Fremont, Calif., has been awarded a $4.8 million technology development contract for low-cost, fast-charge (LC/FC) battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs).

The award comes from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), a collaboration of FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors and a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support the commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.

The contract award, which includes a 50% cost share, funds a 30-month project that began last month. Building on a successful first phase, the program aims to develop novel electrolyte formulations, a scalable pre-lithiation method that enables the use of high-capacity silicon oxide anodes, and optimized cell designs that will result in lithium-ion batteries capable of meeting USABC’s LC/FC EV battery goals.

“The low-cost/fast-charge technology development contract award with Zenlabs is part of USABC’s broad battery technology research and development program,” says Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR. “Programs like this are critical to advancing the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable broader scale vehicle electrification.”

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