President Obama puts his money where his mouth is
The funding will support 40 projects across 15 states and will help improve the fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles.
The projects will facilitate better fuels and lubricants, lighter weight materials, longer-lasting and cheaper electric-vehicle batteries and components and more efficient engine technologies.
This comprehensive approach to vehicle efficiency research and development will help ensure the technologies are available to help automakers achieve elevated fuel-efficiency standards.
New standards for cars and light trucks will bring fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, saving American drivers $1.7 trillion at the pump and reducing U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels. New standards for work trucks and buses will save American businesses $50 billion in fuel costs, according to government estimates.
"The Department of Energy is investing in new advanced technologies that will significantly improve vehicle fuel economy, save consumers money, and create skilled jobs for Americans,” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said today. "Investments in the next generation of autos will strengthen our economy and lead to a more fuel-efficient, clean energy future."
The selections announced today focus on eight approaches to improving vehicle efficiency:
1. Advanced fuels and lubricants: Eight projects awarded to improve fuels and lubricants that will enable optimal performance of advanced combustion engines.
2. Light-weighting materials: Five projects awarded to accelerate commercial availability of lighter weight vehicles using advanced materials that dramatically reduce vehicle weight while maintaining the highest safety standards.
3. Lightweight multi-material prototype: Two projects awarded to design, build and test a lightweight vehicle that is 50% lighter than a baseline light-duty vehicle. These projects are being undertaken as part of the Clean Energy Dialogue with Canada.
4. Advanced cells and design technology for electric-drive batteries: Twelve projects awarded to develop high energy or high-power batteries for electric vehicles that should significantly exceed existing state-of-the-art technologies in terms of performance and / or cost.
5. Advanced power electronics and electric motor technology: Four projects awarded to develop the next generation of power inverters and electric motors to meet demanding performance targets while achieving significant cost reductions.
6. Thermoelectric and enabling engine technology: Three projects awarded to improve the efficiency of thermoelectric devices to convert engine waste heat to electricity. Selections of projects to develop early-stage enabling engine technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions are expected in September.
7. Fleet efficiency: Five projects awarded to develop and demonstrate fuel-efficient tire and driver feedback technologies that will improve efficiency of the passenger car and commercial fleet.
8. Advanced vehicle testing and evaluation: One project awarded to conduct laboratory and field evaluations of advanced technology vehicles and related infrastructure, while developing new or modified test procedures.
The Department of Energy supports research in electric-drive vehicle systems, advanced combustion engines, materials technologies, fuels and lubricants, energy storage and automotive electronics. The projects address key technology barriers to improving vehicle fuel economy, such as lowering the cost of lightweight materials.
You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]
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