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A national leader in advanced battery technologies is Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear’s choice to head a cutting-edge automotive battery research lab in Lexington.

Dr. Ralph Brodd of Nevada is the new director of the Kentucky-Argonne National Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center.

“I believe strongly that the US can compete in an international scale to manufacture rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles as well as for energy storage and other types of similar activities,” Brodd said today in Frankfort.

Brodd says research at the Lexington lab can help the U-S catch up with Asia and France in the development of electric vehicles and lithium ion batteries. Gov. Beshear announced formation of the lab last year, following an economic development trip to Japan. The lab is a joint venture with the federal government and is partially funded through federal stimulus dollars.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."