USA Ramping-up Investments in Advanced Vehicle Technologies

Back in 2011, Energy Secretary Chu announced the selection of 40 projects across 15 states to receive more than $175 million to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation vehicle technologies. From state-of-the-art electric drive batteries to light-weight vehicles, these projects will help improve vehicle fuel efficiency and create quality jobs.

The selected projects focus on eight key approaches to improving vehicle efficiency, including:

  • Advanced fuels and lubricants: Eight projects to improve fuels and lubricants, which will enable optimal performance of advanced combustion engines.
  • Light-weighting materials: Five projects to accelerate commercial availability of lighter weight vehicles, using advanced materials that dramatically reduce vehicle weight.
  • Light weight multi-material prototype: Two projects to design, build and test a light-weight vehicle that is 50 percent lighter than a baseline light-duty vehicle. These projects are being undertaken as part of the Clean Energy Dialogue with Canada.
  • Advanced cells and design technology for electric drive batteries: Twelve projects to develop high energy or high power batteries for electric vehicles that should significantly exceed existing state-of-the-art technologies in terms of performance and/or cost.
  • Advanced power electronics and electric motor technology: Four projects to develop the next generation of power inverters and electric motors to meet demanding performance targets while achieving significant cost reductions.
  • Thermoelectric and enabling engine technology: Three projects to improve the efficiency of thermoelectric devices to convert engine waste heat to electricity. Selections of projects to develop early-stage enabling engine technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions are expected in September.
  • Fleet efficiency: Three projects to develop and demonstrate fuel efficient tire and driver feedback technologies that will improve efficiency of the passenger car and commercial fleet.
  • Advanced vehicle testing and evaluation: One project to conduct laboratory and field evaluations of advanced technology vehicles and related infrastructure, while developing new or modified test procedures.

These awards were made by Department’s Vehicles Technologies Program, which works with industry leaders to develop and deploy clean energy vehicle technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

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