DOE Aims Funds At Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicle R&D

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says it is providing $7 million in new funds to support the development of hydrogen storage technologies for use in fuel-cell electric vehicles (EVs).

Four projects, each running three years, will use the capital to ‘help lower the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks for efficient and safe transportation,’ the DOE says. The organizations receiving the funding will complement the $7 million in federal support with $2 million in private investment.

‘Targeted investments in cutting-edge hydrogen storage technologies will spur American ingenuity, accelerate breakthroughs, and increase our competitiveness in the global clean energy economy,’ Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.

The four projects selected are:

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, up to $2.1 million: The DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Ford Motor Co., Lincoln Composites, Toray Carbon Fibers America Inc. and AOC Inc., will focus on reducing the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will involve making improvements to carbon fiber composite materials and related technologies.
  • HRL Laboratories, up to $1.2 million: HRL Laboratories will investigate an approach to hydrogen storage using engineered liquids that can efficiently absorb and release hydrogen gas.
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, up to $2.1 million: The DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, partnering with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and General Motors, will synthesize novel materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities.
  • University of Oregon, up to $2 million: The University of Oregon, along with the University of Alabama, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Protonex Technology Corp., will develop and test new materials that could enable liquid refueling and the regeneration of the hydrogen storage material.

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