When the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) announced its Robust Affordable Next Generation EV-Storage (RANGE) program in February, it envisioned doling out $20 million in research funding to 8- 12 recipients with the goal of developing a better EV battery. Now the agency has announced the recipients of the awards, and both the scope of the project and the amount of funding available have expanded.
ARPA-E announced this week that 22 projects across 15 states will receive a total of $36 million. The program seeks to improve EV driving range and reduce vehicle costs by re-envisioning the total battery system, not just by increasing the energy density of individual battery cells.
For example, Colorado-based Solid Power will receive $3.5 million to develop a solid-state lithium-ion battery that requires less protective packaging, which could reduce cost and vehicle weight, and the University of California, San Diego will receive $3.5 million to engineer a low-cost, low-weight battery and to redesign vehicle frames so the battery becomes an integral part of a vehicle’s support structure.
“The breadth and volume of technology approaches embodied in the RANGE projects demonstrate ARPA-E’s commitment to transformational innovation,” said Deputy Director Cheryl Martin. “The success of RANGE battery technologies will reshape our thinking on EV storage and help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, decrease emissions and help maintain our technological lead in R&D.”