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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) Energy Storage team and partners work within a variety of programs that have created test manuals to establish standard test procedures for the energy storage industry. This effort guides energy storage research and development within the context of DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) goals and objectives.

Energy Storage Programs

The U.S. Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), an industry/government research initiative, focuses on collaborative, pre-competitive, high-risk research to develop advanced vehicle component technologies. Such technologies will provide a full range of affordable cars and light trucks that will reduce harmful vehicle emissions and our dependence on petroleum, without sacrificing freedom of mobility and vehicle choice. The VTO energy storage vision supports the development of durable and affordable advanced batteries that cover the full range of vehicle applications, from start/stop to full-power hybrid electric, electric, and fuel cell vehicles (HEVs, EVs, and FCVs). Much of this work will transfer to energy storage for heavy hybrid vehicles.

The United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), the umbrella organization of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and General Motors, was formed in 1992 to strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative, pre-competitive research.

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) is a consortium under the USCAR umbrella. It was formed in 1991 to collaborate with the battery industry and to pursue research and development of advanced energy systems that can provide future generations of electric vehicles with significantly increased range and performance. USABC members are GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and DOE.

The Electrochemical Energy Storage Team, led by FCVT and USCAR, aims to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support the commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Its purpose is to meet the requirements, including technical performance and selling price targets, established for these vehicles. This team includes representatives from USABC, DOE, and national laboratories.

The Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies (BATT) Program is supported by DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office to help develop high-performance rechargeable batteries for use in electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The BATT Program addresses the fundamental problems of chemical and mechanical instabilities that have impeded the development of EV, HEV, and FCV batteries with acceptable costs, lifetimes, and safety.

The Applied Battery Research Program focuses on high-power battery development in support of the U.S. DRIVE goal of affordable cars and light trucks. Started in late 1998 as the Advanced Technology Development (ATD) Program, Applied Battery Research focuses on removing barriers that prevent U.S. battery manufacturers from producing and marketing high-power batteries for hybrid electric vehicles. The major challenges are life, abuse tolerance, and cost. Of these, abuse tolerance is the single most important issue for U.S. automotive manufacturers. All other activities must consider their impact on the safety of the battery. See Chapter 3 in Energy Storage Research and Development: 2003 Annual Progress Report.

Test Manuals

Prepared by the Electrochemical Energy Storage Team and Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory for U.S. DRIVE.

Battery Test Manual for Power-Assist Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Published October 2003.

Ultracapacitor Test Manual. Published September 2004.

42V Battery Test Manual. Published April 2003.