New Castle News

Local News

June 1, 2012

Axion receives energy grant

NEW CASTLE — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Axion Power International Inc. a $150,000 grant.

Axion, based in Neshannock Township, will use the money to fund a commercialization plan for the use of its PbC batteries in micro-hybrid vehicles.

Micro-hybrid vehicles have a start-stop system which automatically turns off the engine when it comes to a rest, then restarts when the brake is disengaged.

A regular lead-acid battery is not designed to suitably provide the dual function required in micro-hybrid vehicles. Axion’s lead-carbon PbC battery, however, has been proven to work in these vehicles.

Thomas Granville, chief executive officer of Axion Power, said the grant from the energy department’s Small Business Innovation Research program was for the maximum allocation under the first phase. The award enables Axion to apply for Phase II grants, which will be for $1 million or more.

Granville said the grant is “very important for Axion Power, not just for the financial assistance being provided, but for the acknowledgement” of the energy department of the potential benefits of the PbC technology.

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