Key Activities in Vehicles
We conduct work in four key areas to develop and deploy vehicle technologies that reduce the use of petroleum while maintaining or improving performance, power, and comfort. Research and development (R&D); testing and analysis; government and community stakeholder support; and education help people access and use efficient, clean vehicles that meet their transportation needs.
Research and Development of New Technologies
- Develop durable and affordable advanced batteries as well as other forms of energy storage.
- Improve the efficiency of combustion engines.
- Better understand the relationship between different vehicle systems and improve the efficiency of their interactions.
- Improve the power electronics and electrical machines that convert energy from the battery to the wheels of a vehicle and vice versa.
- Evaluate advanced petroleum and non-petroleum fuels as well as develop engines to run on those fuels.
- Reduce the weight and improve the efficiency of vehicle materials while maintaining safety and reducing cost.
- Collaborate with industry to reduce petroleum use and emissions in light and heavy duty vehicles through the US DRIVE and 21st Century Truck partnerships.
- Conduct research through multi-disciplinary transportation research centers at the Department of Energy's National Laboratories.
- Distribute funding to support projects that remove technical and cost barriers to achieving advanced vehicle technologies.
Testing and Analysis
- Model, test, and validate vehicle components within virtual systems before they are used in actual vehicles.
- Collect laboratory and on-road data from advanced vehicles to improve our understanding of their performance.
- Conduct statistical research on energy use and transportation with national laboratories and other federal agencies.
- Provide software tools to industry for vehicle simulation, technology evaluation, economic modeling, and transportation emissions measurement.
Government and Community Stakeholder Support
- Support local voluntary actions to reduce petroleum use in transportation through Clean Cities.
- Manage state and alternative fuel provider vehicle fleets that are required to use alternative fuels through EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities.
- Provide fuel efficiency and alternative fuel information to consumers and businesses through FuelEconomy.gov and the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
- Provide the public with information on the Program's budget.
- Encourage interest in and understanding of advanced vehicle technologies among university students through the EcoCar and EcoCar2 Advanced Vehicle Competitions.
- Expand universities' capacity for education in advanced vehicle technologies through the Graduate Automotive Technology Education Centers of Excellence.