BASF Catalysts, a battery component manufacturer, is running the largest cathode materials manufacturing facility in the country with support from EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO). The factory was supported by a $25 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project. Located in Elyria, Ohio, the facility at full capacity is capable of producing 2,500 metric tons per year of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode materials, a critical component of lithium-ion batteries. Batteries using these cathodes will be less expensive and store more electricity per charge compared to current cathodes, improving the affordability and convenience of plug-in electric vehicles. Researchers at this facility have already pushed technology forward; in 2012, they lowered the production costs of battery cathodes by more than 15%. These cathodes use technology that BASF licensed from Argonne National Laboratory that resulted from a project also supported by VTO.
This project is a major step forward towards the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge goal of making the U.S. the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.