Secretary Chu: Battery manufacturing in America on Driving the Nation

Secretary Chu: Battery manufacturing in America on Driving the Nation

Detroit, MI – In 2008 I interviewed Don Hillebrand from Argonne Laboratory. Hillebrand confirmed that Argonne is allowed to license chemistry produced by a federally funded American National Laboratory to foreign countries. That country is allowed to manufacture batteries in countries other than the United States and then sell the batteries back to American countries.

At the 2012 North American International Automobile Show (NAIAS) I talked to the Department of Energy’s Secretary Chu and asked him what he thought of Argonne licensing chemistry to foreign countries, manufacturing batteries in a different country and then selling those batteries to American companies?

From an Argonne/Toda Kogyo Press Release:

“We are eager to expand our existing battery material product portfolio with Argonne’s technology, and happy to do so through this agreement,” said Andy Jazdanian, Manager of Toda America Inc., based in Schaumberg, Illinois. Kenji Ogisu, President of Toda Kogyo’s internal Energy Solutions Company, added, “We believe the high-capacity NMC (lithiated nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide) technology we are commercializing are the materials of the future, that will solve many of the performance issues we see today in lithium-ion batteries.”

In addition to plants in Japan, Toda recently acquired a plant in the Detroit area that will help Toda serve U.S. automobile manufacturers. Toda Advanced Materials Inc. in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada produces cathode materials and their precursors for lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries with a combined annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tons.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.