EnerDel, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Lithium-ion batteries for automotive, defense and other energy storage markets, has been awarded a $4 million research and development contract by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The contract is aimed at two goals: (i) to create lightweight, high-performance battery solutions for real-time tracking of vital military assets in harsh climates, and (ii) creating high-energy batteries to power miniature unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), increasingly critical to battlefield troops.
"The potential demand for advanced battery technologies for both civilian and military applications today is tremendous," commented EnerDel CEO Ulrik Grape. "We are collaborating with DoD to push the horizons of lithium-ion technology beyond automotive for highly specific defense needs. The market opportunities are very substantial."
The Congressionally directed program contract will be funded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and administered by The Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC). The single, unified R&D contract covers both new "severe-duty" battery technology to replace commercially available cells and high-energy batteries for mini UAVs.
"These projects will put our technology to the test under the most diverse and unforgiving conditions. Like so many breakthrough technologies that are common today, the lessons learned in tough military settings will have major benefits for civilian applications, particularly hybrid and electric vehicles," Grape said. "It is an exciting opportunity at an important time for the Lithium-ion battery industry, and we are proud that EnerDel was chosen to contribute to this effort. We look forward to working with the DLA and NSWC Crane on these programs."
EnerDel recently received the prestigious R&D 100 Award for Excellence for its advanced technology and uniquely innovative design. The Indianapolis-based company shared the award with its research partners at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago. EnerDel is among the small number of participating members of the United States Advanced Battery Consortium, which works closely with automakers, component companies and others to accelerate the commercial development of advanced Lithium-ion battery technology for automotive use.