Earmarks to a Japanese company

I caught up with Don Hillebrand from Argonne at the Chevy Volt unveiling. I had already attended the first day of Argonne’s First International Lithium-Ion battery conference.

Khalil Amine from Argonne had talked to me about the chemistry that Argonne had developed and licensed to Toda Kogyo from Japan. Toda Kogyo will produce the lithium-ion batteries in Ontario, Canada.

Argonne is funded by the DOE’s vehicle technologies program. The Department of Energy is funded with U.S. taxpayer federal money.

My question to Hillebrand was how could this happen? I’ve always thought that the DOE labs were working for the good of our country, financed with U.S. taxpayer money. Why would Argonne agree to license this chemistry to a Japanese company that will produce the batteries outside the United States?

See the video blog for more information on this chemistry.