The DOE has selected 162 projects to receive $26.6 million in the 2015 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) awards. About 16 of these are vehicle-related, encompassing such technologies as batteries, power electronics and hydrogen fuel cells.
Under the SBIR and STTR programs, federal agencies with large R&D budgets set aside a small fraction of their funding for small businesses. Companies that win awards keep the rights to any technology developed, and are encouraged to commercialize it. Phase I explores the feasibility of concepts, with awards up to $225,000. Phase I award winners can later compete for Phase II funding of up to $1,500,000.
Some of the companies that won Phase I funding:
- US Hybrid Corporation, for fuel cell-battery electric hybrid bucket trucks
- American Lithium Energy Corporation, for a solid-state lithium battery with a ceramic electrolyte and lithium metal anode
- Ballast Energy, for a high-loading lithium-ion electrode architecture for EV batteries
- Bettergy, for a lithium-sulfur EV battery
- GeneSiC Semiconductor, for a SiC Schottky diode for automotive traction inverters
- HICO Tech, for “hybrid” batteries designed to bridge the gap between supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries
- Novarials Corporation, for a high-performance battery separator
- SilLion, for an ionic liquid-enabled Li-ion battery
- Tiax, for a battery for start-stop applications
- United Silicon Carbide, for Silicon Carbide Schottky diodes for EV power electronics