This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 20, 2014

Energy Department Invests More Than $55 Million to Advance Efficient Vehicle Technologies

The Energy Department on August 14 announced funding totaling more than $55 million for 31 new projects designed to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. Four Energy Department national laboratories—Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory—are among the recipients of the awards. Overall, institutions in 12 states—California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, as well as one in Washington, D.C.—will conduct research.

The new projects aim to further the goals and objectives of the president’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, as well as improvements in other vehicle technologies such as powertrains, fuel, tires, and auxiliary systems. Launched in 2012, the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge seeks to make the U.S. automotive industry the first to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.

The selections announced are under two major topic areas. One includes critical technologies to meet the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, and consists of 19 projects aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of key PEV components. The second topic has 12 projects designed to develop and demonstrate dual-fuel/bi-fuel technologies to reduce petroleum usage: to accelerate growth in high-efficiency, cost-competitive engine and powertrain systems for light-duty vehicles; and to accelerate the introduction of advanced lubricants and coatings to increase the efficiency of vehicles on the road today, as well as future vehicles.

Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department, the Department of the Army is contributing an additional $3.7 million in co-funding to support projects focused on beyond-lithium-ion battery technologies and reducing friction and wear in powertrains. The Army will also test and evaluate fuel-efficient tires resulting from these projects at its facilities in Warren, Michigan. See the Energy Department news release and the complete list of awardeesPDF.