US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), a collaborative organisation of FCA US, Ford and General Motors, has awarded a US$1m contract to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, for development of its lithium-ion battery recycling process to produce plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) battery cells made with recovered cathode material.

The competitively-bid contract award is 50% cost share-funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The 24-month programme will enable WPI to scale up and demonstrate its recycling process, which uses no or minimal sorting, to generate cathode materials for PHEV and other types of electric vehicle applications.

The recycled material will be demonstrated using a PHEV cell design and will enable a lower cell cost structure than new materials of the same chemistry.

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the DOE, USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies, which support commercialisation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles.

“We are pleased to announce the award of this contract to Worcester Polytechnic Institute as part of USABC’s broad battery technology research and development programmes,” said USCAR executive director, Steve Zimmer.

“These programmes are critical to advancing the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable broader scale vehicle electrification.”