U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced recently a commitment of more than $175 million over the next three to five years to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies. The funding will support 40 projects across 15 states to help improve the fuel efficiency of next generation vehicles. The commitment from the Department of Energy will also leverage additional private investment by the grantees to support projects, totaling more than $300 million.
The projects will target new innovations in vehicle design, including: better fuels and lubricants, lighter weight materials, longer-lasting and cheaper electric vehicle batteries and components, more efficient engine technologies, improved fleet efficiency, and advanced vehicle testing and evaluation criteria.
Award winners include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ford Motor Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Chrysler Group, University of Pennsylvania, 3M, General Motors, General Electric, Goodyear Tire Company, the University of California-Riverside, and more.
The Department of Energy’s goal for funding research and development in advanced vehicle technologies is to help create the technologies necessary for automakers to meet recently announced fuel efficiency standards. The new standards, announced last month, will require automakers to improve fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by nodel year 2025. In addition, the Obama administration recently announced first-ever fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles.