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Ford battery lab set for University of Michigan

– Ford Motor Co. and the University of Michigan are opening a battery research and manufacturing lab that they hope will speed the development of batteries for electric and hybrid cars.

The center, on the university’s campus in Ann Arbor, will bring together battery-makers, car companies and researchers who will test new batteries for prototype vehicles.

Ted Miller, who manages battery research at Ford, said the lab will be unique in the U.S. He said that labs currently testing new battery chemistries can’t produce them in the amounts or formats needed for automotive research.

The $8 million center received a $5 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., a public-private agency, and $900,000 from the university. Ford contributed $2.1 million, but Miller said other automakers have already asked about doing research there.

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