U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

DOE Awards More Than $175 Million for Advanced Vehicle Research

August 17, 2011

Photo of sleek car parked outdoors.

Advanced vehicles, like this version of the Ford Focus Electric, will benefit from the DOE-sponsored research program.
Credit: Ford

DOE announced on August 10 that it will offer more than $175 million over the next three to five years to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. The funds will leverage additional investments by the grantees for a total of more than $300 million. Forty projects across 15 states will help improve the fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles. Targets include innovations throughout the vehicle, such as better fuels and lubricants, lighter-weight materials, longer-lasting and less-expensive electric vehicle (EV) batteries and components, and engine technologies that more efficient. DOE's comprehensive approach to vehicle efficiency research and development will help ensure the technologies are available to help automakers achieve recently announced fuel efficiency standards.

For one award, the Ford Motor Company will get $1.5 million to identify fuel properties that enable novel low-emission combustion strategies. For another, United States Automotive Materials Partnership, LLC of Southfield, Michigan, will get $3.5 million to validate crash models for carbon-fiber composites. Overall, the selections focus on eight approaches to improving vehicle efficiency: advanced fuels and lubricants to enable optimal performance of advanced combustion engines; lightweight materials to accelerate commercial availability of lighter-weight vehicles while maintaining safety standards; lightweight multi-material prototype to design, build, and test a lightweight vehicle that is 50% lighter than a baseline light-duty vehicle, undertaken as part of the Clean Energy Dialogue with Canada; advanced cells for EV batteries; advanced power electronics and electric motor technology to develop the next generation of power inverters and electric motors; thermoelectric and enabling engine technology to convert engine waste heat to electricity; fleet efficiency to demonstrate fuel-efficient tire and driver feedback technologies; and advanced vehicle testing and evaluation. See the DOE press release and the award winners PDF.