This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Invests $19 Million in Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research
DOE announced on May 22nd that five next-generation vehicle research projects will receive up to $19 million to further the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles. Projects will focus on reducing the cost, weight, and size of electric drive and power conversion devices while increasing vehicle efficiency. The teams' research will focus on the following areas: high-speed electric motors that can produce at least 55 kilowatts of power; three-phase inverters that can operate at high temperatures while controlling and regulating the speed of electric motors; combined traction motors and power electronic inverters; bi-directional direct current-to-direct current converters; and advanced "soft-switching" inverters. Soft-switching inverters reduce switching and power loss by only allowing their internal transistors to switch between modes when the voltage across the transistor is near zero.
Industry teams based in California, Michigan, New York, and Virginia will share the cost of the projects, bringing the total investment to $33.8 million from the current fiscal year through fiscal year 2010. The teams will be led by Delphi Automotive Systems, General Electric Global Research, General Motors Corporation, U.S. Hybrid Corporation, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Team members include DOE's Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as well as four universities. See the DOE press release.