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Ford and the University of Michigan Team Up to Open New Battery Lab

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Earlier this week on Oct. 14, a unique lab opened with the purpose of researching and advancing the development of batteries. This was a momentous occasion because these aren’t just your typical double and triple A’s. Ford and the University of Michigan are working together in a new facility to produce batteries for your car.

The lab, an $8 million facility on the university’s campus in Ann Arbor, will provide the necessary means to test new batteries, which are specifically developed for automotives, earlier in the vehicles’ design process.

The hope is that experimentation done in the lab will lead to discovery of less expensive materials and more efficient production methods to create the batteries. As a result, electric vehicles will be more affordable for consumers.

Ford’s senior manager of energy storage strategy and research, Ted Miller, said, “This is sorely needed, and no one else in the auto industry has anything like it.”

The lab is expected to be ready for full operations next year.

According to Mark Barteau, director of Michigan’s Energy Institute and professor of advanced energy research, the facilities will be available for use by companies in a variety of industries, not exclusively automotive, as well as the university’s students.

“This is open innovation,” he said. “I believe that cooperation between university researchers and industry is essential to create advances that have real-world impact.”