Chances are you may not be a big University of Michigan sports fan. It just seems so ridiculously far away. However, the university’s partnership with Ford to open a unique battery lab is enough to make you start paying attention to what’s happening way over there in that state with the wicked winters.
The $8 million lab, officially opened Oct. 14, was created with the purpose of bringing Ford, the University, battery suppliers and the state and federal governments together to provide a testing center that will accelerate the development of batteries used to power electric and hybrid vehicles.
Where it was previously difficult to test battery chemistries in a format beneficial for automotive use, the center will provide better opportunity to simulate battery performance conditions. The resulting research will help determine the best materials for battery construction and lower production costs, making electric and hybrid vehicles more affordable for consumers.
“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, Ford’s manager for battery research, in a press release. “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.”
Miller also added, “I think you are going to see a lot of companies in the battery supply chain come to Michigan to use this facility, in very short order.”
Here at Sanderson Ford we’re excited about what’s going on in Michigan. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even start watching University of Michigan sports.