As part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to increase energy productivity, reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and cut harmful emissions the Energy Department has announced an investment of nearly $55 million for 24 projects to develop and deploy cutting-edge vehicle technologies that will strengthen the U.S. clean energy economy. These technologies will play a key role in increasing fuel efficiency and reducing petroleum consumption, while also supporting the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable to own and operate as today's gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.
“Investing in advanced vehicle technologies will improve the efficiency of today’s vehicles while also supporting the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles,” says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The deployment of these technologies will give Americans more options when they are choosing a vehicle, while also creating jobs and cutting harmful carbon emissions.”
Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department, the Department of the Army is contributing an additional $2.26 million in co-funding to support projects focused on battery modeling technologies and computational fluid dynamics.
The announced investments will go toward a wide range of research, development and demonstration projects that aim to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel and conventional vehicles. These selections are under two major thrust areas:
- Critical Technologies to meet the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge: Sixteen projects are aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of key PEV components. This includes developing advanced manufacturing and process technologies for advanced battery materials, advanced electrode and cell fabrication manufacturing, and integrated wide band gap power modules for next generation plug-in vehicles. Other projects focus on electric drive battery modeling for vehicles and advancing lightweight materials research to help electric vehicles increase their range and reduce battery needs.
- Fuel Efficiency Improvements in Passenger Vehicles and Commercial Trucks: Eight projects are aimed at improvements including developing and demonstrating dual-fuel or dedicated natural gas engine technologies for high-efficiency medium and heavy-duty vehicles to reduce petroleum usage and developing advanced computational fluid dynamics models to accelerate the development of advanced engine technologies. Building on the SuperTruck activity, other projects aim at developing enabling technologies to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty diesel engines.