The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $60 million for 24 research and development projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks. The projects will help decarbonize the transportation sector and enhance the infrastructure needed to support the growing adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
“Fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks are a leading cause of air pollution and carbon emissions, and that is why we are focusing on decarbonizing the transportation sector to achieve President Biden’s climate goals,” says Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Partnering with industry and leading research universities, DOE’s investment in these 24 projects will create technologies and techniques that will cut vehicle greenhouse emissions and boost America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market.”
The projects, funded through DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicles Technology Office, address the two largest contributors to transportation sector emissions: passenger cars and light-duty trucks account for nearly 60 percent of emissions and medium- and heavy-duty trucks account for nearly 25 percent.
The selected projects will accelerate innovation in EV batteries and electric drive systems. Awardees across 12 projects will focus on developing next-generation lithium batteries with improved lifespan, safety, affordability, performance and durability of electrolytes that carry ions within batteries, and power density of electric drive systems. The total award amount is $28.1 million.
Another project will ready new mobility systems technology for commercial and consumer use. Awardees across six projects will help develop a better understanding of new mobility technologies, particularly on how automated, connected, electri, and shared vehicle technology, like automated electric shuttles and connected vehicle/infrastructure technologies, interact with the larger transportation system. The total award amount is $20.2 million.
Clemson University will develop a lightweight, multi-material passenger vehicle body structure, addressing challenges in joining dissimilar materials, for a total award amount of $5.8 million. Two projects, for the award amount of $5.1 million, will develop simulation tools to accelerate and optimize the development of advanced emissions systems for heavy-duty vehicles to reduce exhaust emissions and improve commercial vehicle engine efficiency. A total of $1 million will go toward understanding the energy use and environmental impact of new vehicle technologies. Three projects will develop tools to understand charging infrastructure needs for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles and analyze environmental, cost and energy impacts of infrastructure upgrades.