This paper presents an overview, including highlights and accomplishments, of the energy storage R&D effort at the FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program Office of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) during the Fiscal Year 2006 (and the early part of FY 2007). DOE maintains a close partnership with the automotive industry through the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to support the development of advanced energy storage technologies, including batteries and ultracapacitors, for transportation applications. It leverages resources and expertise from automobile manufacturers, battery developers, small businesses, national laboratories, and universities to address the technical barriers which prevent the market introduction of vehicles using advanced energy storage technologies. The energy storage research activities include the developer program, applied battery research, and long-term focused fundamental research; which are organized to complement each other. The developer program is conducted in collaboration with battery developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and includes benchmark testing, technology assessments, and system development. Applied battery research is focused on addressing cross-cutting barriers for high-power lithium-ion systems, which include the barriers of insufficient life, inadequate low temperature performance, inability to tolerate abuse, and a high cell-level cost. Focused fundamental research addresses critical problems of chemical instabilities for advanced batteries and attempts to better understand why systems fail, develops models to predict system failure and to enable optimization, and researches promising new materials. The paper also describes DOE’s current energy storage R&D coordination efforts with other agencies.
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