The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting decarbonizing the domestic transportation sector with a $96 million funding opportunity. The funding will focus on expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging accessibility, create cleaner non-road vehicles through electrification and the use of alternative fuels, and develop electric drive components and materials to maximize EV efficiency and affordability.
Non-road vehicles, including agricultural and construction equipment, rail, marine and aviation, are a major source of pollution, emitting more carbon pollution than any other sector of the U.S. economy. Lowering vehicle emissions will support President Biden’s goal to achieve to net-zero economy by 2050. Further, in accordance with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, applicants for this funding must show how proposed projects will benefit traditionally disadvantaged communities that lack access to clean energy sources.
“To strengthen our transportation sector to support our growing economy, DOE is investing in clean mobility options that will eliminate harmful emissions, reduce our reliance on volatile fossil fuels, and cut energy costs,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Achieving President Biden’s climate goals will require expanding accessibility to electric vehicles for all drivers and modernizing vehicles that power the agricultural and construction industries.”
In support of President Biden’s call for EVs to make up half of all automotive sales by 2030, DOE is ensuring that the nation’s charging infrastructure is prepared to meet the increased demand. For many Americans, EV benefits such as low maintenance and fueling costs are enhanced by having accessible charging near to homes and workplaces. DOE is committed to developing solutions in underserved areas and for drivers who do not have access to charging at home. DOE will also invest in projects that create regional refueling infrastructure plans for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel.
This investment complements the $5 billion made available under the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to build out a national electric vehicle charging network.
New materials and advanced electric drive systems are key to developing next-generation electrified vehicle platforms, including full battery electric and fuel cell EVs with smaller, more affordable electric systems for improved performance and durability. DOE will also fund projects that seek to develop novel multi-functional materials for EVs and improve powertrain performance in EVs for increased functionality and reliability.
While decarbonizing on-road vehicles is critical to fighting climate change, it is equally important to research, develop and deploy clean, non-road engines and fuel technologies for aviation, marine, off-road (e.g., construction, agriculture) and rail. DOE will fund research on non-road engine technologies that are less harmful to the environment and develop electric, natural gas and other alternatives for fueling and powering non-road engines.
Applicants for the Fiscal Year 2022 Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity must submit a concept paper by August 25, 2022. Full applications are due on November 10, 2022.