House approves funds for car battery research

Key funding for a car battery research venture among the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois cleared the U.S. House Thursday.

The $5 million pegged for the Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center to be headquartered in north Lexington was included in the Department of Defense appropriations bill.

The center will focus on developing efficient ways to manufacture new battery technologies, starting with lithium-ion batteries for next-generation automobiles.

"Kentucky stands on the threshold of creating the nation's first research and development facility that will focus solely on creating the technology for energy storage that can be used by electrically powered vehicles," Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.

The appropriations bill that contains money for the battery research center now heads to the U.S. Senate.