The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) and the U.S. Department of Energy have awarded Celgard, LLC. with a contract to improve lithium-ion battery separator technology. Battery separators are electronic insulating layers that prevent batteries from overheating, which improves their performance.

Celgard has 18-months and $2.3 million to further develop battery separators for use in hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The USABC is comprised of the Chrysler, General Motors and Ford. While the automakers' objective is to develop energy storage systems for use in mass production of future hybrid and electric vehicles, the Department of Energy (DOE) has a different, yet related set of goals. 

The DOE hopes not only to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but to keep the Detroit Three alive for the economic benefit of the nation. It must be discouraging then that a recent CNN poll shows that 61% of Americans oppose the automaker bailout.

Sources: Green Car Advisor, CNN, USCAR