The U.S. Department of Energy Offers Ford a $3.1M Grant to Improve Batteries image

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to offer Ford a $3.1-million grant to improve the efficiency of alternative-energy vehicles batteries.

Ford will close a deal with Texas firm, Arbin Instruments, and the two companies will create a device for high-precision battery testing to improve the battery’s life monitoring and forecasting. This device will reduce the expense and time required for the development, research and qualification testing of new batteries for alternative-energy vehicles.

Eric Toone, director of DOE’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy office, declared in time these efficient and precise diagnostics may double battery output, which would also lead to improved performance of alternative-energy vehicles.

“I think you’re talking about at least doubling battery efficiency,” he said. ” If you look at the total amount of storage space that there is in a battery, and then you start knocking stuff for safety, security … by the time all is said and done, you’re only using a quarter to a third of the space in a battery.”

He also added that having this monitoring and diagnostics system will allow the customers to use a wider amount of the battery’s capacity for actual power output.