Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists

The state of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and the Argonne National Lab have announced that they have entered into a partnership to forge a national battery manufacturing R&D center on advanced batteries. The center’s would work with  with labs, manufacturers, suppliers and consumers to bring down advanced-battery production costs and accelerate adoption of these technologies.

Not unexpectedly, the group will focus its efforts on lithium-ion systems.” “In the long-term, the center would help in the development of technologies that would enable a significant increase in energy densities, including lithium-air and zinc-air systems for vehicle applications and advanced batteries for cost efficient and long-life grid power storage applications,”said Mark Peters, deputy associate laboratory director of Energy Sciences & Engineering at ARL.

The formation consortium got a boost when it was endorsed by Ford Motor Company.

Central Kentucky is a relatively convenient location for both foreign and domestic car makers who have operations in nearly all of the surrounding states. Kentucky state officials brag that the region is within 500 miles of more than 4,800 auto-related vehicle manufacturers, including 69 vehicle assembly plant

UK says it will be levering work underway at its Center for Manufacturing and Center for Applied Energy Research, the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, the Center for Applied Energy Research. Likewise, the University of Louisville’s Institute for Advanced Materials and Renewable Energy, Rapid Prototyping Center, Micro/Nano Technology Center, and Logistics and Distribution Institute, and the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Environmental Stewardship will also add to the effort.