The U.S. Department of Energy intends to issue $17 million in solicitations to improve automobile efficiency and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil under the FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program. The funding will be offered as two separate solicitations, one for $14 million to support plug-in hybrid electric vehicle technology and another for $3 million for research to improve E-85 engine efficiency.
The $14 million cost-shared solicitation for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle battery development aims to improve battery performance so that plug-in hybrid vehicles can deliver the 40 miles of electric range required for most roundtrip daily commutes. DOE has also created a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle test bed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; allowing scientists to measure the performance of a vehicle.
The $3 million cost-shared solicitation will support engineering advances to improve the fuel economy of E85 engines and reduce vehicle emissions. The solicitation also serves to undertake research and development projects that will result in flex-fuel vehicles.
The solicitations are subject to Congressional appropriations.