July 18, 2005

USCAR and U.S. DOE to invest in materials and batteries research

Dearborn, Michigan – The United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), with members Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation and DaimlerChrysler Corporation, signed cooperative research agreements with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support continued research and development in lightweight materials and advanced battery technologies for vehicles.

The agreements, which include DOE funding and industry cost share, represent a total investment potential of US$195 million over the next five years. The current agreement, representing US$125 million, is set for three years.

The DOE/USCAR partnership has been ongoing for more than ten years; one of its major accomplishments has been the development of the nickel metal hydride (NiHM) battery technology currently used in light-duty hybrid electric vehicles.

Along with batteries, the cooperative will research and develop new materials and technologies that will reduce weight without compromising durability, reliability or safety. The research will work to develop new alloys of aluminum, magnesium and titanium, as well as carbon fibre and polymer matrix composites.

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