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Energy Department invests in fuel efficient vehicle technologies

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As part of the Obama Administration’s strategy to increase energy productivity and cut harmful emissions, the Energy Department has announced an investment of nearly US$55 million for 24 projects to develop and deploy cutting-edge vehicle technologies that will strengthen the US clean energy economy.

The technologies will support 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.

Additionally, through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department, the Department of the Army is contributing a further US$2.26 million in co-funding to support projects focused on battery modelling technologies and computational fluid dynamics.

The 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

16 projects are aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of key PEV components, including:

  • Developing advanced manufacturing and process technologies for advanced battery materials.
  • Advanced electrode and cell fabrication manufacturing.
  • Integrated wide band gap power modules for next generation plug-in vehicles.
  • Other projects focus on electric drive battery modelling 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.
  • 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.

Edited from press release by

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