Senator Announces Research Money For Firefly

By Eric Shangraw

July 15, 2010 Updated Jan 12, 2008 at 12:16 AM CDT

A Peoria company is getting $3.2 million in federal funding for its' research on the next generation of batteries.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the "earmark" for Firefly Energy's 3-D Advanced Battery Technology.

Durbin is on the Defense Appropriations Committee and helped secure the funding with help from Congressman Ray LaHood.

Firefly is a spin-off of Caterpillar.

Durbin says the company's work will help reduce dependence on foreign oil and will be critical to national defense.

The Democrat from Illinois said, "This is not only critical for the Army in having a vehicle that runs on batteries, but they need a battery that is critical to moving troops and could be the difference between life and death."

The new Firefly batteries, which the company hopes to start producing in June, are expected to last longer and be less expensive than batteries based on Lithium and Nickel chemistries.

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