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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Battery Maker ReVolt wins $5 Million Grant for Portland Plant

Oregon Live

Swiss battery maker ReVolt Technology has received a $5 million U.S. government grant that will help the company launch a planned Portland manufacturing and research center.

Vice President Joe Biden announced $106 million in stimulus grants Thursday for 37 energy-research projects, including ReVolt's plan to develop a high-energy battery for plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. "Thanks to the Recovery Act," Biden said, "dozens of cutting-edge research projects with the potential to dramatically transform how we use energy in this country will now be able to get under way."

ReVolt managers chose Portland last year for their U.S. headquarters, saying they would ultimately hire about 250 people. They now expect to pick a location and have most of the U.S. team in place by October, said James McDougall, ReVolt's chief executive.

ReVolt is developing zinc batteries packing more punch than conventional models made of compounds such as lithium-ion. In the federally funded project, ReVolt will develop a large zinc-air flow car battery for plug-in vehicles, U.S. Energy Department officials said. U.S. Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., helped create the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which will issue the grants announced Thursday.