UMD Receives ~$5M to Develop More Efficient Electric Vehicle Batteries

UMD Receives ~$5M to Develop More Efficient Electric Vehicle Batteries

UMD Receives ~$5M to Develop More Efficient Electric Vehicle Batteries

The University of Maryland (UMD) announced today that it has been selected to receive ~$5M in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The funding is part of the ARPA-E Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) program, which seeks to develop more affordable, convenient, efficient, and resilient electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

Dr. Eric Wachsman, Director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEI2) and Distinguished University Professor, is the lead PI of one of the awards entitled, Fast-Charge, High-Energy-Density, Solid-State Battery.  The project will increase the charge/discharge-rate capability, energy density, and operating temperature window of solid-state lithium metal batteries. The team will use new mixed ionic-electronic conducting (MIEC) ceramics and processing techniques to fabricate thinner, higher porosity, and thus lower mass (porous/dense) “bilayer” and (porous/dense/porous) “trilayer” solid-state battery architectures. The patented 3D ceramic architecture has shown the highest Li-metal cycling rate for solid-state technology (100 mA/cm2) at room temperature with no applied pressure, demonstrated numerous high energy density (~300Wh/kg) cells with multiple cathode chemistries and cell configurations, and is being commercialized by team member Ion Storage Systems. Finally, the team will integrate the MIEC ceramics in new advanced architectures with cobalt/nickel-free, high voltage cathodes to achieve higher gravimetric and volumetric energy densities while simultaneously enabling faster charging rates.

“Battery fast charging has been primally limited by Li metal plating at the anode and our unique 3D anode architecture had previously demonstrated it could achieve DOE’s Fast Charge goal for Li metal charge/discharge rates of 10 mA/cm2. Using this 3D anode architecture with our newly developed MIEC ceramic conductor we’ve been able to increase this rate to 100 mA/cm2, literally off the charts in every critical parameter for Li metal anodes” said Wachsman.

Dr. Paul Albertus, Associate Director for MEI2 and Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department, is a co-investigator for two other awards: Framework for Safety Evaluation of EVs4ALL Batteries, led by Sandia National Laboratories and  Fast-Charging, Wide-Temperature, Low-Cost, Durable Batteries Enabled by Cobalt- and Nickel-Free Cathodes and Cell Engineering led by Virginia Tech.

“UMD’s continued success in receiving ARPA-E awards and its participation in 3 out of 12 awards in this solicitation is a testament to the innovativeness and impact of the energy research at our university. These efforts demonstrate the strong commitment to fundamental materials science research and the ability to translate these innovations to energy storage applications that will drive the future of EV transportation systems.” said Dr. Samuel Graham, Dean of the College of Engineering.

Since ARPA-E’s inception in 2009, UMD has received 41 awards from the program for over $111M.

For additional information about this project and the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute please visit:

The Maryland Energy Innovation Institute provides a platform to catalyze basic research into new technology while stimulating economic growth and improving millions of lives across the state of Maryland. The Institute brings together science, industry, government and economic leaders to develop solutions to global and local energy problems (i.e. cleaner and renewable energy solutions; more efficient use and storage of energy) and assist the transfer of knowledge and resources to the public in addition to transitioning the research into marketable products and services through locally based entrepreneurial ventures.


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January 11, 2023

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