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ARPA-E Awards $4.9M for UMD Research on Advanced Electric Vehicle Batteries

By Catherine O'Brien Stephens

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded nearly $4.9 million to support a University of Maryland research project aimed at creating more affordable, convenient, efficient and resilient electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

ARPA-E, which promotes research and development of advanced energy technologies, announced the grant as part of its Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) program.

Of the 12 awards granted nationwide under the program, UMD is co-leading two others; in total, the three are worth $11.4 million.

Eric Wachsman, director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEI2) and Distinguished University Professor, is the lead PI of the award, entitled “Fast-Charge, High-Energy-Density, Solid-State Battery,” which will increase the charge/discharge-rate capability, energy density, and operating temperature window of solid-state lithium metal batteries.

Paul Albertus, associate director of MEI2 and assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is a co-investigator for two other awards: “Framework for Safety Evaluation of EVs4ALL Batteries,” led by Sandia National Laboratories, and “Fast-Charging, Wide-Temperature, Low-Cost, Durable Batteries Enabled by Cobalt- and Nickel-Free Cathodes and Cell Engineering,” led by Virginia Tech.

Since ARPA-E’s inception in 2009, UMD has received 41 awards from the program for over $111 million.

“UMD’s continued success in receiving ARPA-E awards and its participation in three out of 12 awards in this solicitation is a testament to the innovativeness and impact of the energy research at our university,” said Samuel Graham, Jr.,, dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. “These efforts demonstrate the strong commitment to fundamental materials science research and the ability to translate these innovations to energy storage applications that will drive the future of EV transportation systems.”

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