SAN DIEGO - The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) has awarded Maxwell Technologies Inc. a $7.01 million cost-shared technology contract to develop an advanced energy storage system for power-assist hybrid electric vehicles. 

USABC will provide more than $2.8 million directly to Maxwell and approximately $3.5 million in total, including payments to technology development partners, over the course of the 24-month program. 

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), the collaborative automotive technology organization for Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors. With funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, USABC's mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of electric, hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles.

Maxwell will lead a team tasked with the development and integration of advanced capacitor technologies to produce an energy storage system that meets USABC performance requirements. Maxwell will be responsible for capacitor technology development, module technology and design, electrode formulation and system integration. Development partners will provide low-cost, high-performance separator membrane and electrolyte specifically developed for this program. 

"Higher performance, lower cost, energy storage systems are essential to meeting growing worldwide demand for more fuel-efficient, lower-emission vehicles," said David Schramm, Maxwell's president and CEO. "The technical foundation of the product this program aims to develop can be instrumental in strengthening the American automakers' competitive position within a global auto industry that annually produces some 60 million cars."