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Department of Energy Announces $80 Million Investment in Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research – Article courtesy of Energy.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of 42 projects totaling $80 million to support advanced vehicle technologies that can enable more affordable mobility, strengthen domestic energy security, reduce our dependence on foreign sources of critical materials, and enhance U.S. economic growth. This work supports DOE’s goal to invest in early-stage research of transportation technologies that can give families and businesses greater choice in how they meet their mobility needs.

“Improving the affordability of transportation for American consumers and businesses keeps our economy moving,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “By investing in a broad range of technologies, DOE is ensuring America remains at the forefront of innovation.”

Selected projects cover the following areas:

  • Batteries and Electrification ($31.9 million): These research projects will develop technologies to recharge multiple electric vehicles quickly and at very high “extreme” power levels; software, controls, and hardware to provide physical and cybersecurity protection of electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The projects will also work to develop cathode materials for next generation electric vehicle batteries that eliminate or significantly reduce the use of cobalt. Cobalt is an expensive, foreign sourced critical material which could pose a supply risk in the future.  The United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) is partnering with DOE and is contributing $1.8 million to support the development of low cobalt cathode materials.
  • Materials ($8.4 million): These research projects will develop models that predict corrosion in multi-material joints for lightweight vehicle structures and materials in high-temperature combustion environments that can be used to accelerate the introduction of new materials into advanced vehicles. The models will be validated by exposing the materials and multi-material joints to real-world corrosive conditions to measure the rate of corrosion and effect on component life.
  • Technology Integration ($26.8 million): Projects will bring together key stakeholders, including Clean Cities coalitions, in partnerships to provide data on the impact of mobility services and solutions through real-world testing (evaluation/assessment) and validation. The data, analysis, and insights from this work will fill critical information gaps to inform mobility research needs as well as near- and long-term transportation planning that maximizes energy efficiency and affordability.
  • Engines and Fuels ($10.1 million): Projects will research advanced multi-mode (spark ignition/compression ignition) engines with co-optimized fuels for light-duty vehicles and bio-derived blendstocks for diesel engines for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.  These projects support DOE’s Co-Optima initiative, a joint effort between the Vehicle Technologies and Bioenergy Technologies Offices to develop fuel and engine innovations that work together to maximize vehicle performance and fuel economy.
  • Off-road and Fluid Power Systems ($3.4 million): Research will focus on improving the energy efficiency of off-road vehicles used in construction, agriculture, and mining applications. 

To learn more about the projects selected today and the Department’s work with industry, academia, and other partners on advanced vehicle technologies, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website.