A New Power Duo: Ford & U-M Team Up to Test Electric Batteries
As the major U.S. automakers continue to churn out electric, fuel-efficient vehicles, they recognize the need to develop cheaper power for their electric offerings so they can lower the cars’ price tags and make them more accessible to consumers. That’s what Ford Motors (NYSE:F) will specifically work toward at its $8 million lab that it announced the creation of Monday, and the facility will also serve to benefit other automakers, battery makers, and individual researchers with the same genre of goals.
According to The Detroit News, the University of Michigan will be responsible for the construction of the lab, and it will receive funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Ford, and the U-M College of Engineering. There, automakers and researchers will be able to test battery cells prior to their production — deviating from the current testing process of creating product-ready battery cells and then testing them — and will thus be able to save themselves time and money as they race to keep up with the ever evolving auto industry and its advance toward electric car technology.
Ted Miller, manager of Ford’s battery research explains, “We need to be able to test hundreds of chemistries and cell designs, but they have to be tests that can translate from the lab to the production line. Ford has battery labs that test and validate production-ready batteries, but nothing this far upstream.”