DOE offers $10 million in research funding for batteries, motors and power electronics

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If you’ve got an idea for cheaper, lighter, safer or more durable batteries or electric powertrain components, you may be eligible for a piece of a new $10 million pot of research funding.

The DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) has issued an Incubator Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for projects that address any of several “areas of interest,” which include Energy Storage and Advanced Power Electronics and Electric Motors.

In the field of energy storage, the VTO is seeking projects that address the major barriers to widespread EV commercialization, specifically:

  • The current cost of high‐energy lithium‐ion batteries is approximately four times too high on a kWh basis.
  • Current batteries are two to three times too heavy and large, and high‐ energy batteries struggle to meet EV cycle and calendar life requirements.
  • High‐energy Li‐ion batteries are not intrinsically tolerant to abusive conditions.

Sample topic areas that might address one or more of these barriers include novel cell, module or pack designs; new manufacturing processes; evaluation diagnostics technologies; and recycling or refurbishment technology that can restore old batteries.

When it comes to power electronics and electric motors, the VTO has identified a similar set of challenges:

  • Cost Reduction. The cost of EV components – motor, inverter, converter, and onboard charger – must be offset by cost savings to the customer.
  • Size Reduction. Reductions in the volume and weight of components will allow for ease of integration within current vehicle architectures.
  • Greater Efficiency. Efficiency must continue to improve to provide longer range and higher MPGe ratings.
  • Greater Reliability. EV components must provide long vehicle service equal to or better than ICE vehicles.

 

Source: DOE via Green Car Congress
Image:  International Information Program (IIP)/Flickr