GM Licenses Advanced Battery Chemistry from Argonne National Lab

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory announced Thursday they have reached a worldwide licensing agreement to use Argonne’s patented composite cathode material to make advanced lithium-ion batteries that last longer between charges and can charge at higher voltages.

"The creation of this battery technology represents an important return on the American investment in innovative vehicle and battery research,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This agreement gives General Motors the ability to use cutting-edge battery technology throughout its supply chain. The licensing of this technology will also spur the renewal of the American battery industry, creating hundreds of new jobs where they are needed most.”

The cathode material licensed to GM is part of a diverse suite of Li-ion battery inventions and patents developed at Argonne with DOE funding. The agency also provided funding for early science research that helped develop this technology. Use of the cathode material is expected to yield advanced batteries that are high-performing, long-lasting and safe when compared to the existing technology that has dominated the market for nearly two decades.

Argonne’s composite cathode material has a unique combination of lithium- and manganese-rich mixed-metal oxides in a stable materials-design.

Argonne also announced that it has licensed the cathode technology to LG Chem (LGCLF.PK) for use in battery cells used in the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

GM Invests in Powermat

General Motors’ venture capital subsidiary, GM Ventures, is investing $5 million in Powermat, a company that is developing wireless charging technology that will eliminate the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices. 

The technology won’t be used for recharding electric vehicles, but rather, it will be used within GM vehicles to recharge cell phones, mp3 players and other electronics–beginning in mid-2012.

The Chevrolet Volt–GM’s first electric vehicle–will be one of the first models to incorporate the technology.

“Imagine a mat or shelf where you could put your iPhone, your Droid or other personal device and charge it automatically while you commute to work, run errands or as you’re driving on a family vacation,” said Micky Bly, GM’s lead electronics executive, including infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

Powermat, a private firm, was founded in 2007 and offers wireless charging products for the home in a number of retail stores, including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart.

Website: http://www.gm.com     
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