The U.S. Department of Energy on August 14 announced the investment of more than $55 million for 31 new projects to accelerate the research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. These new projects aim to meet the goals of the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, a broader initiative launched in March 2012 to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable and convenient to own and drive as today's gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.
With support from the Energy Department, U.S. automakers, universities, and national laboratories have achieved significant advances in vehicle efficiency and electrification, including cutting the cost to manufacture advanced electric vehicle batteries by 60% since 2009. At the same time, the size and weight of PEV batteries has also been reduced by more than 60%, while improving overall vehicle performance and durability. In the first six months of 2014, PEV sales were 30 percent higher than the same period in 2013. The number of PEVs on the U.S. roads nearly doubled in the past year.
In addition to advancing critical technologies to meet the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, the project also supports fuel efficiency improvements in passenger vehicles and commercial trucks such as powertrains, fuel, tires, and auxiliary systems.
Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department, the Department of the Army is contributing an additional $3.7 million in co-funding to support projects focused on beyond lithium ion battery technologies and reducing friction and wear in the powertrain.
To read the full list of awards, see Energy Department press release.