A limiting factor of any electric vehicle is the quality of its battery, which is of particular concern for consumers. As electric vehicles transition from "the car of the future" to "the car of now," consumers need to know they can trust the vehicle manufacturer's claims about the quality and lifetime of the car's battery.
This is where the Battery Test Center (BTC) at INL comes in. The overall goal of the BTC is to increase consumer confidence and enhance market share for electric vehicles. To achieve this goal, researchers at BTC need to understand how the batteries will age, figure out how to reduce production costs, and ensure batteries will perform as expected.
BTC stands out because of its status as one of the nation's most reliable laboratories for third-party, independent testing of electric vehicle batteries and because it backs up that testing with its own state-of-the-art research to more accurately understand and predict battery behavior.
As hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles continue to gain acceptance, automakers and battery manufacturers looking for better performance have turned to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and Idaho National Laboratory to gather data on reliability and durability.
The BTC works closely with the big three U.S. automakers Ford, GM, and FCA through the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to validate the life and performance of advanced battery systems. In addition to testing activities for USABC, the BTC is the author for all USABC life and performance battery test manuals.