Ford 2012 Focus in Grand Rapids, Michigan

University of Michigan Hosts Game Changing Ford Battery Lab

October 21st, 2013

batterylabSetting aside our age old ‘Sparty vs. Wolverines rivalry, the team at Borgman Ford is geeked about a new battery lab Ford is opening in partnership with the University of Michigan. According to Ford, the purpose of the lab is to “change the world” — but we say CHARGE the world — of battery powered vehicles, that is!

The lab will help develop smaller and lighter batteries that are less expensive to produce. It’s a joint effort between Ford, the University of Michigan, battery suppliers and state and federal governments, as well as investors such as Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy. What could also potentially come out of this collaboration is the ability to produce more efficient and affordable battery-powered vehicles, and ones that could go farther on a single charge.

The other cool thing about this effort is it’s putting Michigan at the heart of battery research, not just battery production. Ford has a rich history in battery research, to the tune of 20 years. And now, it can also test experimental battery concepts on a small scale. It may be hard to believe, but battery research is still in its youth years.

“We have battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but that is too late in the development process for us to get our first look,” said Ted Miller, who manages battery research for Ford. “This lab will give us a stepping-stone between the research lab and the production environment, and a chance to have input much earlier in the development process. This is sorely needed, and no one else in the auto industry has anything like it.”

The Ford electrified vehicle lineup features the Focus Electric, Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid and C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid.


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