DOE Offers $30 Million for Developing Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles
January 23, 2008
DOE announced on January 17 that it is offering $30 million over the next three years for companies to design and build plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and then test them in fleets located in geographically diverse areas. The PHEVs must be able to travel at least 10 miles using only their electric drives, although DOE would prefer vehicles that come closer to achieving the goal of a 40-mile electric range. The vehicles must be comparable to current production vehicles in terms of emissions, safety, comfort, and performance, and the projects must either involve a high-volume vehicle manufacturer or a company with the capability of producing vehicles in high volumes.
The selected projects are intended to address many of the critical barriers to achieving DOE's goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016. PHEVs with a 40-mile electric range would satisfy about 70% of all the average daily travel in the United States. DOE will fund up to half the cost of the selected projects, providing $7 million in fiscal year 2008 and an additional $23 million in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, subject to congressional appropriations. The first round of applications is due on February 13, and a second round will be due on April 30. See the FOA.
DOE has also signed a Memorandum of Intent with the State of Michigan and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) to participate in a cooperative, pre-competitive research and development (R&D) alliance called the United States Automotive Partnership for Advancing Research and Technologies, or USAutoPARTs. OESA includes the suppliers of components, modules, systems, materials, and equipment used by the original equipment automotive industry. The new alliance will initially consist of three research consortia that will focus on lightweight materials; electrical and electronic thermal management; and engine combustion and emission after-treatment. Suppliers and others may choose to participate in one or more of the research consortia. USAutoPARTs will be located in Shelby Township, Michigan, in a 56,000-square-foot vehicle R&D center that was formerly operated by Delphi Corporation. See the DOE press release, the Vehicle Technologies Program Web site, and the Memorandum of Intent for USAutoPARTS (PDF 25 KB). Download Adobe Reader.