The lithium-ion battery developer and manufacturer A123 Systems has come to agreement with Argonne National Laboratory to collaborate on a new nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) cathode development program — one intended to result in the creation of a “safe class” of advanced materials for utilization in the transport sector — according to a new press release from A123.
To put that another way, the intent is for the 3-year, multi-million-dollar program to improve NMC cathode safety while maintaining battery life and energy density.
The press release provides more:
A123 will leverage its scientific talent and successful track record in battery materials development to commercialize advances in nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) technology originally developed by Argonne. When combined with other independent R&D collaborations, A123 anticipates more than a 60% increase in energy density over its current high energy products and a corresponding increase in electric range for the vehicles it supplies.
This program builds on A123’s existing NMC technology which already accounts for nearly half of the company’s current production. While A123 has become the world leader in high power batteries for low-voltage hybrids, its progress in high energy applications is more recent. Today six vehicle models use A123’s NMC technology in plug-in applications and the company has been awarded more than 10 additional programs for future market introductions. While those applications are predominantly in the Chinese market today, a more global customer base is set to emerge over the next several years.
A123 CEO Jason Forcier, commented: “Working with Argonne will further advance our already strong presence in plug-in vehicles and support the increasing market demand globally. We look forward to expanding our customer base as we offer increasingly greater range to our plug-in vehicle programs without compromising on the life and safety performance that the market has come to expect from A123.”
As it stands, 6 plug-in electric vehicle models utilize A123’s NMC technology. As a reminder, A123 is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wanxiang Group.