Sequestration or no sequestration, Washington is investing another $50 million in electric vehicles and hybrid electric cars, with the goal of making them as affordable to own and operate as today's gas-powered vehicles.

The funding by the Department of Energy is in support of its EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, the goal of which is to speed up the development of advanced plug-in vehicle technologies to improve both fuel economy and performance by 2022. The other goals, of course, are to reduce US dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gasses – oil by 80 percent and emissions by 60 percent – according to the Department of Transportation.

The investment covers research and development of low-cost batteries, advanced power electronics and electric motors, plus test models and simulation tools to predict the performance of advanced conventional and electric-drive vehicle systems.

The US Army also is kicking in $3.5 million for R&D that has military potential. Specific research projects included in the funding are advanced lightweight and propulsion materials, battery development, power electronics, HVAC systems and fuels and lubricants. DOT is accepting applications from industry, national laboratories and universities for the research grants.

Since plug-in vehicles work way better with places to plug them in, another part of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge is increasing the number of charging stations, including encouraging corporations to install units in employee parking lots. That program is called the Workplace Charging Challenge. Participants include Google and Dell, along with auto manufacturers Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan and Tesla.
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Energy Department Offers $50 Million to Advance PEV Technologies

The Energy Department on March 8 announced more than $50 million in funding for new projects that will accelerate the development of advanced plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies to improve vehicle fuel economy and performance. This new funding supports the Energy Department's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which aims to make PEVs as affordable to own and operate as today's gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years and will help to advance the technology goals outlined in the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge.

The Department will select new research projects that focus on lowering the cost and increasing the efficiency of PEV components and develop models and tools to predict these vehicles' performance and help improve fuel economy. The Department will fund projects that cover 12 areas of interest across five major areas of research and development, including: advanced light-weight and propulsion materials; battery development; power electronics; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and fuels and lubricants.

Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army, the Army is contributing $3.5 million in co-funding in several areas where there are joint development opportunities. The Energy Department will accept applications from industry, national laboratories, and university-led teams to address these challenges and enable technologies that will drive innovation in vehicle design. See the Energy Department Progress Alert, the Vehicle Technologies Office website, and the funding announcement.


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  • 15 Comments
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      With all the "bad press" (the made up lies) and the hate from the GOPers, it's nice to see the feds aren't whimping out like they usually do. Electrification of vehicles is the right topic and the right solution, to bad the right loves oil only and not the country.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Yes, I only love oil, and not the country. I will remember how I am hate filled and how the left loves the country, the next time I see flag burning leftists with signs tht say, 'death to America' or 'we support our troops, the ones that shoot their officers' or 'long live fallujah' or 'I support the insurgents' or 'smash the Jewish state' or 'death to the Jews' or signs with hammers and sickles, or stories on howiran is a progressive state. A wise person said, I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, "We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" That was Hillary Clinton. Now, saying the word Chicago is racist, and no wanting a car hat takes hours to charge and goes 80 miles means you hate America. You are incapable of rational thought. You will claim open mindedness decry hate, while being closed minded, and hating those who disagree with you. Even on something like the choice of automobile that they drive. Your threshold for hate is getting very, very low. Is it okay if I buy a big gulp, or does that make me a terrorist?
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cost reductions are great, but fast charging is the killer app. The day an affordable EV goes on sale that can recharge 120 miles of range in less than 10 minutes is the day the gas engine starts to die off.
        Nicholas (Kompulsa)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        Thank you. I have been telling people the importance of fast charging, even with short range to keep the cost of the batteries down, so that the vehicles can be affordable. Fast charging drastically minimizes the range-anxiety issue because it enables people to solve it by simply recharging. People keep responding with "NO, more range!" without even thinking about it. More range = at least thousands of US dollars more. If charging stations were ubiquitous enough, and EVs could charge in 15 minutes like the Toshiba SuperCharge battery, an EV with 70 mile range could recharge every 50 miles for only 15 minutes and drive across the continental United States.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        Mmmmmmmmmmm, 250 miles... that allows for 3 - 4 hours of driving - then you need a break for food/bathroom - you can charge at that point. Bump the charge time up to 30 minutes. That (to me at least) is the key number(s).
          Tysto
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          No. This is a game of perceptions. Every non-enthusiast's first questions about an EV are "how far can it go?" and "how long does it take to recharge?" If the answers are "far enough that you'll want to pull over anyway" and "the time it takes you to take a leak and buy a soda", you win huge points. Long drives are very rare for most people, so having a battery bigger is a waste of money and weight.
      chanonissan
      • 2 Years Ago
      good news , no manufacture need to get cranking on second generation mass market EVs
      Nicholas (Kompulsa)
      • 2 Years Ago
      You blatantly lied in this post from the first sentence to the last. Your dishonesty (or delusion) record is hard to break.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      $50 million? That is nothing. I guess the days of big stimulus are over.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing says high mileage vehicle like dual exhaust manifolds!
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        ....with a V8 and rear wheel drive...
          BipDBo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I think that might be AWD. The rear wheels look to be driven by the engine and two motors, one on each rear wheel. Your right, the engine looks to be a NA V8. It looks to be in front of a Subaru like transaxle. That would make for a heck of a front overhang. I'm pretty sure we won't see this car make it to production. Illustration purposes only.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      The smartest thing to do with this money is to give a big chunk of it to Edison2 to speed up the development of the VLCe. That fulfills almost all of what the DOE is after with this. The exception being the improvement of batteries. $50 million is really not a lot of money for the ambitiousness of the goal, however.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Those 3.5m$ from the military is going to weigh heavily on their 1000 billion dollar annual budget. Is something good going to come of this 50m$? no. It will be flushed down the toilet in good orderly professional manner. By the clueless, for the clueless, of the clueless.
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