Ford and the University of Michigan have announced they have teamed up to create a new kind of battery lab designed specifically to speed up development of batteries for electrified vehicles. The new battery lab is described as world-class facility located at the University of Michigan where Ford will collaborate with battery manufacturers, suppliers, and university researchers. The new battery lab is the result of an $8 million investment from Ford, the university, battery suppliers, and state and federal governments.
The goal of the lab is to create batteries that are smaller, lighter, and less expensive to produce. Ford and University researchers hope that the lab will accelerate development of battery powered vehicles that are more efficient and more affordable than vehicles currently available. The researchers also hope to create batteries that will allow electrified vehicles to drive further on a single charge.
The lab is also a battery manufacturing facility specifically designed to handle pilot projects. Lab researchers will investigate state-of-the-art manufacturing methods that can be used to make test batteries designed to replicate the performance of full production scale batteries. Ford is the only automaker that invested in the battery lab and contributed $2.1 million on its own.
Ford notes that it has been a supporting battery research for over 20 years and last year the automaker invested $135 million in the design, engineering, and production of key battery components. Ford also doubled its own battery testing capability last year. Ford currently has five electrified vehicles and is line that use advanced lithium-ion batteries, including the Focus EV.