The widespread adoption of electric vehicles using advanced battery technologies and the development of their manufacturing base in the United States are critically important goals for the US economy and therefor a major focus of research and development sponsored by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Materials development is often touted as the most important enabling activity, however in a rank of major cost items, manufacturing costs ranks just below the cathode components. In addition to the need to reduce costs, US R&D should also focus on new, yet-to-be-scaled processing technologies that, when developed and implemented in the US provide both a strong component of US energy security and US-based employment in a field expected to grow to over $100B in the next twenty years.
Processing science and engineering has traditionally been underrepresented in federally funded electrochemical energy storage R&D. Over the last eight years, the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) has been building an advanced processing R&D portfolio. This includes competitively funded research at universities, small businesses, and large corporations as well as programs supported across the array of the national laboratory complex. This presentation will provide an overview of the sub-program’s history and some examples of early successes. Future research directions and scenarios for possible funding opportunities will also be discussed.