Not long after announcing funding for natural gas engine research, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $15 million for research projects on batteries and vehicle electrification technologies to enable extreme fast charging. As the DOE explains, its Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funds early-stage, high-risk research to generate knowledge upon which industry can develop and deploy innovative transportation energy technologies that improve efficiency, lower costs, and increase use of secure, domestic energy sources.
VTO is seeking research projects to develop plug-in electric vehicle systems that can recharge rapidly at high power levels, decreasing charge time to 15 minutes or less. Advanced battery projects will focus on early-stage research of battery cells that can enable extreme fast charging, while electrification projects will support the development and verification of electric drive systems and infrastructure for extreme fast charging (400 kW).
In a new VTO-funded report, researchers at Idaho National Laboratory teamed with Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify technical gaps to implementing an extreme fast charging network in the U.S. The report, available here, highlights technical gaps at the battery, vehicle, and infrastructure levels.
In 2017, VTO developed and verified innovative lithium-ion technology with the potential to reduce battery pack cost to $219/kWh of usable energy, an approximately 80% reduction since 2008, according to the DOE. This funding opportunity aims to continue building on this progress to decrease the time needed to charge an electric vehicle and drive down battery costs to save consumers and businesses money.