Battery Research Center Opens In Greene County

The Battery Innovation Center works to make lithium batteries used in both military and civilian technology more efficient and longer-lasting.

battery innovation center

Photo: Bill Shaw/WTIU News

The Battery Innovation Center officially opened on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.

A research and development facility in Southwest Indiana that aims to create more efficient batteries for military use opened its doors today.

Missiles, rockets, lightweight computers, Humvees and unmanned vehicles all run on ion and lithium batteries, and the Battery Innovation Center is working to make those batteries longer lasting and cheaper.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Commander Colonel Alan Pratt says the development of these technologies will improve military operations.

“So then we don’t have to go out a refuel that vehicle as often, if we don’t have to refuel that vehicle as often, then that means can have less convoys on the road, and less convoys on the road in some war fighting areas it means less opportunity for an IED to hit a convoy, which saves lives for the war fighter,” he says.

Even before the Battery Innovation Center’s building was complete, researchers were developing ways to use military batteries in everyday life—in electric cars, computers and storing energy on a large-scale.

“Were going to act as a catalyst,” says Battery Innovation Center President Charles LaSoto. “The research the development teams are going to spawn new products and new industry which will allow manufacturing jobs to be created here in the state of Indiana so we will see 100’s of jobs in Indiana from these new developments.”

The Battery Innovation Center employs six people and plans to add another 27 in the next few years. The center is jointly funded by Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane and several technology companies and universities.

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