TIAX Awarded Contract by Department of Energy to Further the Development of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Technology

Project could speed commercial adoption of lithium-ion in hybrid electric vehicles.

TIAX today announced it has been awarded a contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate strategies to improve a new low-cost cathode material that could bring hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) further into the mainstream. The $750,000 Phase II contract was awarded to TIAX through the DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

“We’re honored to be working with the DOE on this important project,” said Kenan Sahin, President of TIAX. “Developing low-cost and efficient battery technologies is one of the first steps toward realizing the enormous economic and environmental potential of HEVs.”

Currently, the dominant battery technology used in HEVs is nickel metal hydride. However, research at TIAX has shown that lithium-ion based batteries may be a preferred option due to their high energy density. In order to implement lithium-ion based battery technology in HEVs, the development of lower cost and safe cathode materials capable of high power is needed. The cathode material in a lithium-ion battery helps determine battery power–the rate at which energy is extracted–and is therefore critical to performance.

This Phase II project will build on TIAX’s earlier work on one of the most promising classes of lithium-ion cathode materials for HEV applications and should result in a prototype.

TIAX is a leader in the development of transportation technologies and has assisted both automotive companies and government agencies in navigating through important technology decisions related to transforming HEVs into a major market segment. In addition to the company’s work with clients across the battery-related value chain, including materials suppliers and battery manufacturers, TIAX has been at the forefront of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, with members of its staff having completed much of the pioneering work in fuel processing technologies in the 1990s.

Since 2002, TIAX has been awarded numerous Phase II contracts through the SBIR program. The SBIR program was established in 1982 to provide increased opportunities for small businesses to meet federal research and development needs, increase employment, foster and encourage participation in technological innovation by socially and economically disadvantaged persons, and increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal research and development.