The DOE has announced $55 million in new funding for 31 projects to accelerate R&D of vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. 19 of the new projects are aimed at meeting the goals of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which seeks to make the US auto industry the first to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient as legacy gas vehicles by 2022.
The PEV-related areas of research include “beyond lithium-ion technologies” that use high-energy-density materials; wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors; lightweight materials; and advanced climate-control technologies that reduce energy usage.
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“Investments in the next generation of vehicle technologies will both strengthen our economy and lead to a more fuel efficient, clean energy future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “Improving vehicle efficiency is instrumental to establishing a 21st-century transportation sector that creates jobs as well as protects future generations from harmful carbon emissions.”
The Department of the Army is contributing an additional $3.7 million in co-funding for projects focused on new battery technologies and reducing friction and wear in powertrains. The Army will also test fuel-efficient tires developed at its facilities in Warren, Michigan.
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“Partnering with the Energy Department, we are accelerating the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies that will strengthen our military, economy, and energy security,” said Dr Paul Rogers, Director of the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.