U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Advanced Manufacturing Office – Industrial Distributed Energy

DOE's Argonne Laboratory Licenses Advanced Battery Cell Powering Chevy Volt

January 12, 2011

Photo of a T-shaped battery in front of new car.

A lithium-ion battery replica is displayed in front of a Chevy Volt.
Credit: GM Corp.

DOE's Argonne National Laboratory announced on January 6 that it has a licensing agreement with LG Chem, Ltd. to make and use Argonne's patented cathode material technology in lithium-ion battery cells. At the same time, it announced an agreement with General Motors Co., which will use the laboratory's composite cathode material to make advanced lithium-ion batteries. This technology is used in GM's Chevy Volt. The GM plug-in hybrid, delivered to its first customers in December, has an EPA estimated range of 35 miles on a full charge.

The lithium-ion battery technology, part of a suite funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, offers a 50–100% increase in energy storage capacity over conventional cathode material, Argonne said. In addition, its lithium- and manganese-rich mixed-metal oxide combination extends the operating time between charges, increases the cell's longevity, and improves the safety of lithium-ion cells. Funding for the earlier stages of research and development of this technology was provided by DOE's Office of Science. See the Argonne National Laboratory press release and the GM press release.