November 30. 2012 2:00PM - Last modified: November 30. 2012 2:05PM

Argonne wins Manhattan Project for car batteries

  
Argonne National Laboratory has won federal funding for a highly coveted research center modeled after Bell Labs and the Manhattan Project that will aim to create smaller, cheaper batteries for electric vehicles and other long-range energy needs.


The Energy Department's decision is expected to be announced later this week, according to two Capitol Hill sources.

Argonne's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research proposal, which includes a team of four other national labs, four universities and private industry, was supported by 10 senators and 39 representatives, including most of the Illinois congressional delegation, according to a letter of support last April.

The main purpose of the research effort is to dramatically bring down the size, weight and cost of batteries for electric and hybrid cars. More efficient, longer-lasting batteries also are needed to make variable wind and solar power a more important part of the electrical grid.

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