Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)

Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)

Reports of Interest


  • BOT => Beginning of Test
  • C/3 => a discharge rate
  • CS => Charge-Sustaining (of a battery)
  • CD => Charge-Depleting (of a battery)
  • DOD => Depth of Discharge (of a battery)
  • EERE => Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, an office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)
  • ERM => Extended Range Mode
  • EM => Electric Machines (generalizing the concept: a generator or a (road) traction motor)
  • EV => Electric Vehicle
  • EVSE => Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • HPPC => Hybrid Pulse Power Characterization
  • SAE J2841 => definition of City vs Highway
  • SAE J1772 => Charger Connector Standard
  • USABC => United States Advanced Battery Consortium

Projects of Interest

Actualities & Images

(fair weather commuting)

Special Report on “The Department of Energy’s Management of the Award of a $150 Million Recovery Act Grant to LG Chem Michigan Inc.”

Special Report on “The Department of Energy’s Management of the Award of a $150 Million Recovery Act Grant to LG Chem Michigan Inc.”; Department of Energy; 2013-02-08; 26 pages.


  • Yup, it’s all true.
  • EERE is “management”, not LG Chem Michigan Inc. executive staff.
  • LG Chem Michigan Inc.’s Project budget is $302,790,339
  • EERE assists with $151,397,000 subsidy via ARRA 2009.
  • Project ends 2013-05-31 with 6% of the subsidy unclaimed.
  • LG Chem Michigan Inc. requests but is not yet granted an extension
  • Disallowed activities were $1,684,277; subsidy claim to EERE on that is  $842,189.
  • LG Chem Michigan. which is requested to repay $842,189.

The salient response from EERE seems to be on page 23 – “DOE does not concur that the grant terms for this grant can be used to forc LG Chem Michigan Inc. to transition production of battery cells from South Korea to the Michigan plant.  DOE does not have authority to dictate the production decisions of LG Chem Michigan Inc., which are based on the market.”


From the Special Report


The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program was established to develop and deploy efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies to reduce the Nation’s dependence on foreign oil and provide greater energy security. The Vehicle Technologies Program received $2.4 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for these purposes. The program is managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and is being implemented and monitored primarily by the Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

In February 2010, LG Chem Michigan Inc. (LG Chem Michigan), formerly Compact Power Inc., was awarded more than $150 million in Recovery Act funding to help construct a $304 million battery cell manufacturing plant in Holland, Michigan. As part of this process, LG Chem Michigan was also eligible to receive more than $175 million in tax relief from the State and local governments through 2025. The objective of the project was to design, construct, start up and test a production facility for lithium-ion polymer batteries, create more than 440 jobs, and produce enough battery cells annually to equip 60,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2013, with assembly beginning in 2012.

On October 24, 2012, the Office of Inspector General received a complaint that LG Chem Michigan misused Recovery Act funds. The complainant asserted that employees at the Michigan facility had little work to do and were spending time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies at the expense of the Federal government and taxpayers. In a separate action, the Department’s Chief of Staff and its General Counsel brought similar concerns to our attention. We initiated this review to examine the allegations and to evaluate the Department’s management of the Recover y Act grant awarded to LG Chem Michigan.


We confirmed the allegations. We found that work performed under the grant to LG Chem Michigan had not been managed effectively. Based on progress to date and despite the expenditures of $142 million in Recovery Act funds, LG Chem Michigan had not yet achieved the objectives outlined in its Department-approved project plan.

LG Chem | Compact Power

LG Chem, LG Chem Power Inc., LG Chem Ltd., LGCPI; Compact Power

R&D Facilities

  • US
  • China
  • Japan
  • Korea (South Korea)


LG Chem at Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Chevy Volt

CPI announced in a press release dated June 5, 2007 that it had been chosen by General Motors Corp. to develop a lithium-ion polymer battery system for the GM E-Flex platform propulsion system. The E-Flex electric vehicle architecture underpins the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car that GM began producing in 2010.[4] GM had also tested batteries from a partnership of Continental AG and A123 Systems.[5] In October 2008, GM announced it had chosen CPI to provide the battery systems for the first production version of the Volt, which was rolled out in December 2010.[6][7][8]

As of 2011, the Volt’s battery cells are produced by LG Chem in South Korea and subsequently shipped to the US, where the battery packs are assembled at a purpose-built facility in Brownstown Township, Michigan owned and operated by GM.[9]

6th U.S.-China Bilateral Electric Vehicle Initiative

David Howell (DoE); Update on U.S. DOE Electric Drive Vehicle R&D and Deployment Activities; 2012-08-12; 15 slides.

See also

Previously noted: EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint


  • Initiative kickoff 2009-11-17.
  • U.S Department of Energy
  • China Ministry of Science & Technology
  • U.S. DoE EV Everywhere Challenge
    • Enable U.S. companies to produce electric vehicles that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gas – powered vehicles by 2022 (in ten years).
    • Benchmark:
      • 5-passenger vehicle suitable for an average American family
      • Majority of vehicle-miles powered by electricity under standard drive cycles.
      • 5-year simple payback vs. equivalent gasoline powered vehicle.
      • Vehicle range & charging infrastructure scenarios support adoption of the EV as a primary vehicle.
      • No reduction in grid reliability.
  • Grand Challenge Targets
    • PHEV-40
    • AEV-100
    • AEV-300
    • EV-100
    • EV-200+
  • ANL (Argonne National Lab) BatPaC model; BatPaC v1.0
  • NMC411 Cathode
  • EC-EMC-LiPF6 electrolyte
  • SAE J2929 Battery Safety Standard


  • AEV => All Electric Vehicle
  • ANL => Argonne National Laboratory
  • ICE => Internal Combustion Engine
  • PHEV => Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • L1 => Level 1 charging (AC)
  • L2 => Level 2 charging (AC or DC)
  • L3 => Level 3 charging (DC only)


David Howell
Team Lead
Hybrid & Electric Systems Vehicle Technologies Program
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue
Washington DC 20585

Images & Actualities

The experience with charging the volt is 16 hrs at 8A, per-chargecycle configurable to 12A.

EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint | U.S. Department of Energy

EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint; U.S Department of Energy; 2013-01-31.



Output from the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Framing Workshop.

From page 4 & 5

To summarize the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge vision, realizing PEVs that meet or exceed the performance of ICE vehicles on the basis of cost, convenience, and consumer satisfaction will require the combined efforts of technological push (R&D), operational enablers (charging infrastructure), and market pull (consumer adoption and incentives).  PEVs have already established a foothold in a world long dominated by gasoline vehicles. As technology improves and production scales, batteries and electric drive systems will become less expensive and better performing. DOE’s goal is to work with leaders in the private sector, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia to accelerate these trends.

The report is referred to as a “Blueprint” (which may be the same as a “Roadmap”).  It has the flavor of the grand semiconductor industry roadmaps and keynote addresses: we gonna need; we need more this, we need more that, we need more R&D

This [Blueprint] document serves as a “living strategic framework” that will guide DOE’s investments in the Challenge going forward.


  • AEV => All-Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
    • AEV-100 => an AEV with a 100-mile range (a goal)
    • AEV-300 => an AEV with a 300-mile range (a goal)
  • DOE => Department of Energy
  • EVSE => Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (the charger equipment)
  • HEV => Hybrid Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
  • HOV => High-Occupancy Vehicle
  • ICE => Internal Combustion Engine
  • LMP => Local Marginal Price (of a commodity in a tiered pricing scheme)
  • NEV => Neighborhood Electric Vehicle
  • NGO => Non-Governmental Organization
  • PEV => Plug-in Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3; PEV = AEV | PHEV]
  • PHEV => Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
    • PHEV-40 => a PHEV with a 40-mile range (a goal)
  • PV => Photo-Voltaic (i.e. solar) systems
  • V2G => Vehicle to Grid
  • WBG => Wide Bandgap (semiconductors)
  • lightweighting => design concepts & schemes pursuant to reducing weight; simplespeak: weight reduction
  • FMVSS => Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
  • SAE–J2929 => Battery Safety Standard


  • Levelized Cost = purchase cost + operating cost

Claims & Observations

  • Claim => [page 4] “Driving on electricity is cheaper than driving on gasoline—generally comparable to roughly $1 per gallon of gasoline equivalent”
    • for the same sized car
    • at some retail price point of gasoline
    • at some retail price point (LMP) electricity
    • extra credit: what are those price points?
  • Observation => [page 5] “Additional social science research is required to better understand consumer preferences regarding vehicle structures and fast-charging technologies.”
    • A fancy way of saying “market research”
    • There is a huge marketing challenge here in the classic tech adoption curve of the electronics industry, except it plays out across auto industry R&D/build/sale/use/dispose cycles of 8+8+8+8 years
  • Claim => [page 7] ” The cost of today’s batteries is over four times too high.”
    • Relative to what?
      • To consumer demand curve willingness&ability-to-pay?
      • To theoretical efficiency?
      • To some macroecon class theoretical “percentage-of-gdp dedicated to batteries” which is optimal for a society?
  • Claim => [page 15] “Taxpayers currently receive a Federal tax credit from $2,500-$7,500 for qualified PEVs. Policy mechanisms, such as transferring the Federal tax credit to the point-of-sale, can reduce consumer PEV purchase barriers.”
    • Indeed … many consumers are surprised to find out that the tax credit scheme of the IRS only works if you have a tax liability to match it, and you only close out that credit+liability (sic) four hundred fifty days later when you file your final year-end tax return for the year in which the sale occurred. good luck with that.
    • Case: my booked arbitrage lasts on my books: 2013-01-31 -> 2014-04-15.
    • Paraphrasing the parable of prudence: a lot can change in a deal structure in a year and a quarter.


  • U.S. DRIVE is a government-industry partnership.
  • U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program
    • Currently available resources include
      • a permit template
      • Residential Charging Installation Video.


Stated twice, once in the Vision and once in the Technical (should you read that far).


The technical targets for the DOE PEV program fall into four areas: battery R&D; electric drive system R&D; vehicle lightweighting; and advanced climate control technologies. <snip/>  The technical targets presented in this section represent “stretch goals” established in consultation with stakeholders across the industry who acknowledge that innovations in PEV technology will only occur as a result of  collaborative efforts in scientific investigations and technology development.


In summary

  1. Cutting battery costs from their current $500/kWh to $125/kWh.
  2. Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through lightweighting
  3. Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from $30/kW to $8/kW


In detail

  1. Batteries
    • Framing
      • 2012-2017 => Near-Term
      • 2017-2027 => Long-Term
    • Energy Storage (“beyond Li-ion”)
      • (near-term) higher capacity cathodes, higher voltage electrolytes, tin replaces graphite anodes
      • (long-term) lithium-sulfur, magnesium-ion, zinc-air, and lithium-air
    • Materials (“beyond silicon”)
      • Silicon Carbide
      • Wide Bandgap semiconductors
    • Requirements
      • Fast discharge across a wide (enough) range of applications (teeny-toy cars [NEVs], actual cars, crossovers, SUVs, some light-duty trucks].
      • Fast charge is nice-to-have for consumer adoption; reasonably comparable with liquid fueling onloading (~10 min).  Gingerly stated but not a declared goal:  “Fast charging may be important for consumer adoption of certain PEVs.”
    • Goals
      • Density (not clear why the units are different in these two declared goals)
        • (near-term) battery energy density from 100 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg.
        • (long-term) battery power density target of 2000 W/kg.
      • Weight
        • reduce vehicle weight by 30% across all components (not clear why this is in the Battery imagery and not in the Lightweighting imagery).
      • Cost
        • electric drive => $30/kW (2012) to $8/kW (2022);
          assuming: 1.4 kW/kg, 4kW/L, 94% efficiency
        • battery => $500/kWh (2012) to $125/kWh (2022)
          assuming: 250 Wh/kg, 400 Wh/L, 2 Wh/kg (not clear what the three ratios are)
  2. Electric Drive Systems
    • Electric Motors
      • reduce rare-earth components
    • Power Electronics
      • high-temperature
      • heat-transfer & management
      • high-voltage
      • WBG semiconductors
    • Traction Drive Systems
    • On-Board Chargers
  3. Vehicle Lightweighting
    • Mechanical characteristics improvment
    • Cost reduction
    • Facilitation of manufacturability
    • Cost effective joining of multimaterial structures
    • Corrosion protection of multimaterial structures
    • Safety validation of lightweight designs
    • Design tools for (faster) development of new materials.
    • Weight reduction goals, by 2022 (i.e. a decade hence)
      • body structure => -35%
      • chassis => -25%
      • suspension => -25%
      • interior => -5%
  4. Efficient Climate Control Technologies
    • Emergy Load Reduction & Energy Management
    • Advanced HVAC Equipment
    • Cabin Pre-Conditioning
  5. Charging Infrastructure
    • Charging Infrastructure Siting
    • Codes & Standards Development for Charging
    • PEV Charging Station Permitting
    • PEV Charging Station Signage
    • Grid Integration
  6. Education & Policy
    • Adoption by government & private fleets
    • Boosterism towards the industry
      • Increase scale & scope
      • Drive down cost through scale
    • Federal tax credits
      • $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit against a PEV purchase
    • State tax credits
      • none cited
    • Policy mechanisms (vague); tax & regulatory

      • Transfer the Federal tax credit to the point-of-sale
      • Access to restricted roads; e.g. HOV lanes for PEV
      • Preferred parking for PEVs

Workshop Recommendations

Selected & summarized, even for the report (there may have been more that they didn’t disclose).

  • Framing Workshop Recommendation
    • Maximizing “electric miles driven” should be a key goal for DOE.
  • Battery Workshop Recommendations
    • EV Everywhere should pursue a balanced battery R&D portfolio focused on
      aggressive Li-ion (80%) and beyond Li-ion (20%), given the probability that Li-ion can achieve the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge.
    • EV Everywhere should develop lower-cost processes for materials production (cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator) since these represent a large portion of battery cost.
  • Electric Drive Workshop Recommendations
    • EV Everywhere should leapfrog silicon devices for power electronics, and focus on silicon carbide and wide bandgap materials.
    • Electric motor development should focus on concepts that reduce or eliminate rare earth materials.
  • Vehicle Lightweighting Workshop Recommendation
    • Modeling and simulation of advanced alloys/materials (aluminum, steels, composites, magnesium, and advanced materials) for improved performance and cost is needed, including modeling techniques that can integrate with objectives for both materials property improvement and cost reduction to address a path towards performance and cost needs in each material system.
  • Auxiliary Load Reduction Workshop Recommendation
    • EV Everywhere should focus on advanced climate control technologies (passenger comfort and window defrost/defog) that use less energy to achieve the same level of climate control, allowing for a smaller, less expensive battery.
  • EV Everywhere Workshop Finding
    • Wireless charging could enhance consumer acceptance of PEVs, and the potential offered by the technology presents an opportunity for innovation. In the near term, static (stationary) wireless charging may provide convenience to the PEV driver.


  • Major Energy Sources and Users; United States, Energy Information Administration
  • EIA AEO 2013 Reference Cost; cryptic figure footnote citation, cited page 06.


When these goals are met, the levelized cost of an all-electric vehicle with a 280-mile range will be comparable to that of an ICE vehicle of similar size. Even before these ambitious goals are met, the levelized cost [purchase cost + operating cost] of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—and of all-electric vehicles with shorter ranges (such as 100 miles)—will be comparable to the levelized cost of ICE vehicles of similar size. Although there is little evidence that levelized cost plays an important role in vehicle purchase decisions for most consumers, there is substantial evidence that initial purchase price plays an important role—and meeting these targets will help to reduce the purchase price for plug-in electric vehicles. In light of uncertainty concerning consumer preferences and manufacturer plans for PEVs, DOE is selecting ambitious technical goals for this program.


page 15.

  • Disclaimer: This paper does not represent, reflect, or endorse an existing, planned, or proposed policy of the U.S. Government, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Department of Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information herein, and does not endorse any sources used to obtain this information. As such, this paper is not subject to the Information Quality Act and implementing regulations and guidelines.
  • Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States government or any agency thereof.



David T. Danielsen, Dr.; Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

David Sandalow
David Sandalow

Steven Chu, Dr.

Images & Actualities

Images from the report

Bastens; Lithium-ion Polymer (LiPo) 5-count Battery Charger for AR Drone 2.0

5 pack of Bastens Batteries & Chargers

  • 5-count 1300 mAh LiPo batteries
  • 5-count Chargers
  • Carrying case
  • Suitable for the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 & 1.0