Dr. Jeff Dahn, Canada Research Chair in Materials for Batteries and Fuel Cells was the guest of honour at the latest Canadian Technology Leadership dinner at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C. Hosted by Claude Carrire, Deputy Head of Mission, the series is designed to raise CanadaÕs science and technology profile in the Mid-Atlantic Region, particularly in Washington, among influential people, predominantly in the business community.
Dr. Dahn gave a presentation on his ongoing research on better lithium-ion batteries targeted ultimately for electric vehicles. His topic gave the assembled guests the chance to meet another leader in Canadian technology and another Dalhousie star.
Dahn saw this is as a useful opportunity. ÒThe guest list included people from the energy industry,” he says. ÒMy goal was to send them home thinking.”
The guest list included Mr.Carrire, a half dozen prominent business and technology leaders from the DC area and their spouses along with other notables including Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher, senior democrat on the House Energy Committee.
Alternative energy sources are currently a topic of great interest and some of Dahn's work on lithium-ion batteries brings welcome news to an increasingly energy conscious society. Dahn believes renewable energy sources, like wind and solar electricity, should be an option for anyone looking for an alternative. ÒYou should have a choice in where you buy your electricity, as there is in other countries” he says. ÒThere would be demand for renewable energy and we should be able to make a choice, just as we have a choice to buy organic food.”
Electric vehicles powered by renewable energy will be a cost-effective alternative, he adds. ÒThey will cost a third as much to run as gasoline powered vehicles (now $20-$30 US for 300 miles for a 30 mpg vehicle)” And though, at least for now, electric vehicles may cost more he believes people will be willing to pay more. ÒThey are buying hybrids now (like Toyota's Prius)” he says. ÒWhy? Because they care.”
Dahn isnÕt the first Dalhousie-based research leader to address the dinner series. One of the first dinners featured Dr. Ivar Mendez of the Brain Repair Centre as the guest speaker at a function that included biotech executives and neurologists.
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