The funding, to be spread over three to five years, will support 40 projects across 15 states. The DOE said its money will leverage additional investments by the grantees, for total project funding of more than $300 million.
The department said the funding will help improve the fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles, with projects targeting innovations including better fuels and lubricants, lighter weight materials, longer-lasting and cheaper electric vehicle batteries and components and more efficient engine technologies.
Five of the projects are developing and demonstrating fuel efficient tire and driver feedback technologies, designed to improve the efficiency of commercial fleets as well as of passenger cars.
A full list of funding recipients is available here.
On Tuesday the Obama administration announced fuel efficiency standards for big rig trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles, which it said would save the vehicle owners and operators about $50 billion in fuel costs. The announcement was welcomed by the trucking industry.
In related news, the DOE has announced nearly $7 million for independent cost analyses that will support research into and development of fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems.
Over the next five years, four projects in California, Ohio, and Virginia will generate cost estimates for manufacturing equipment, labor, energy, raw materials and components. This research will help identify ways to drive down production costs of transportation fuel cell systems, stationary fuel cell systems, and hydrogen storage systems, the DOE said, and will help the department focus future R&D funding on the components and processes that can deliver the biggest efficiency gains.
Two projects are being run by Directed Technologies, Inc., in Arlington, Va., one by the DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and one by Battelle Memorial Institute, in Columbus, Ohio.