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DOE Awards $175m for Advanced Vehicle Research, $7m for Fuel Cells and Storage

The Department of Energy yesterday awarded more than $175 million to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies.

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.

This followed on from last month’s announcement of a 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 standard for cars and light trucks, with 13 major auto-makers signing on.

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.

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2 thoughts on “DOE Awards $175m for Advanced Vehicle Research, $7m for Fuel Cells and Storage

  1. In the list, why does Ford get 2.7 million under this program? You would think Ford should do this on their own to make a better engine.

  2. Ford is not in the business of making better engines, nor in the business of doing public good for the sake of the climate. They are merely in business to make a buck, and they see no reason to change their old business model since it’s worked so well for them in the past. In short, that’s why.

    Ford, and the other major auto makers, has had literally decades in which they could have been developing and producing more efficient vehicles – but they have not chosen to do so. This is yet another example of the fact that governmental regulations, incentives, and other programs are neccessary in order to force businesses to do what is required. They simply won’t do it on their own.

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