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October 27, 2011
The Vehicle Cost Calculator helps consumers go beyond the sticker price of a vehicle and determine the lifetime cost when they head to the car lot. | Photo by Kino Praxis
Vehicle Cost Calculator Helps You Add Up the Savings

When most people go to the car dealership, they take a hard look at the vehicle’s window sticker. But that initial price doesn’t tell the whole story.

October 19, 2011
A 42-U.S. gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 45 gallons of petroleum products. Source: Energy Information Administration, “Oil: Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Explained” and Annual Energy Outlook 2009 (Updated February 2010).
The How's and Why's of Replacing the Whole Barrel

For many, a barrel of oil is almost synonymous with its most prominent product, gasoline. While almost 40% of a barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline, the rest is used to produce a host of products including jet fuel and plastics and many industrial chemicals. As the United States works to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, we must recognize the complexity of that dependence and work to replace the whole barrel.

October 17, 2011
An illustration of the 2011 Chevy Volt, whose lithium-ion battery is based on technology developed at Argonne National Laboratory. | Image courtesy of General Motors.
From the Lab to the Showroom: How the Electric Car Came to Life

In the U.S., businesses tend to invest in research that will pay off in the short term. National laboratories are filling a gap by conducting the essential research that will change the game 10 to 20 years down the road. Learn more about how years of conducting advanced research in both the private and public sectors led to battery technology that made electric cars possible.

October 17, 2011
Steps to Commercialization: Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

The Energy Department funds cutting-edge research on a broad range of topics ranging from advanced battery construction to the modeling of industrial processes and supercomputer simulation of supernovae.

September 29, 2011
Volunteer Alison Mize demonstrates how to build an electrical circuit using a string of lights and battery at the Vehicle Technologies Program booth at the 2011 Solar Decathlon. | DOE photo, courtesy of April Saylor
2011 Solar Decathlon – The Volunteer's Perspective

The Solar Village has been open to the public on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park for seven days now, which means the 2011 Solar Decathlon is fully underway.

September 28, 2011
American farmers harvest 80 million acres of corn each autumn. The corn stover usually left on a hewn field can be processed into a renewable transportation fuel called bioethanol. | Image courtesy of POET
Commercial Ethanol Turns Dross to Dollars for Rural Iowans

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Sept. 23 announced the Department finalized a $105 million loan guarantee to support the development of one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.

September 28, 2011
A hydrogen-powered Toyota Prius pulls up to Humboldt State University's student designed hydrogen fueling station.
Hydrogen Student Design Contest Inspires and Opens Doors

How the Hydrogen Student Design Contest inspired career paths and produced an innovative hydrogen fueling station at Humboldt State University.

September 27, 2011
A team of researchers and engineers at Argonne National Laboratory, led by Steve Ciatti, pictured above, is looking at the possibility of using gasoline to power diesel engines, thereby increasing overall efficiency and reducing pollution. | Image courtesy of ANL
Maximizing Potential of Diesel and Gasoline for a Cleaner, More Efficient Engine

Diesel engines can be more than twice as fuel efficient as gasoline engines, but they also produce more pollution like particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. A team of researchers at Argonne are combining the efficiency of diesel with the cleanliness of gasoline.

September 26, 2011
Berkeley Lab researchers have designed a new anode -- a key component of lithium ion batteries -- made from a "tailored polymer" (pictured above at right in purple). It has a greater capacity to store energy since it can conduct electricity itself rather than using a polymer binder (such as PVDF, pictured above at left in brown) in the traditional method.
National Labs Leading Charge on Building Better Batteries

Teams at two of the Energy Department's laboratories are making headway on two projects that will enable building a new lithium battery that charges faster, lasts longer, runs more safely, and might also arrive on the market in the not-too-distant future. Learn more.

September 23, 2011
Data Center Celebrates 20 Years of Delivering Savings

Many great technology stories have started with just one humble computer and a desk. Twenty years ago this month, the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) started just this way at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).