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Vehicles Technology

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. drivers logged 3.1 trillion miles last year. Electric vehicles, batteries, cleaner fuels, more efficient engines and lightweight vehicle materials are technologies that can reduce the impact of all those miles. By reducing the amount of money that American's spend on fuel, and mitigating our impact ton the environment, advanced vehicle technologies are poised to significantly effect our energy paradigm. .

The U.S. Department of Energy is providing vouchers to small businesses for products that produce cleaner, more efficient transportation in these voucher opportunity areas:

Advanced Combustion Engines

The Advanced Combustion Engine R&D Program focuses on removing critical technical barriers to commercializing high-efficiency advanced internal combustion engines and emission control technologies for passenger and commercial vehicles.

Battery R&D

The Vehicles Technology Office focuses on reducing the cost, volume and weight of vehicular batteries, while simultaneously improving their performance, power, energy and durability and ability to tolerate abuse conditions. Its major areas of research include battery materials research including advanced cathodes, anodes and electrolytes, advanced electric vehicle battery cell development, low cost processing of materials electrodes and performance, life and safety testing, analysis and design.

Electric Drive R&D

The Electric Drive R&D Program focuses on technology innovations and designs to reduce cost, improve performance and increase reliability of wide bandgap (WBG) power electronics and non-rare earth electric motors for electric drive systems. Technological opportunities of interest include emerging innovations for inverters, converters, chargers, electric motors, non-rare earth magnetic materials and thermal management for improved heat transfer. Efforts emphasize innovative opportunities to improve manufacturing, as well as modular and scalable design strategies applicable across many vehicle platforms.

Vehicle Systems

The Vehicle Systems Program supports the development and use of advanced vehicle modeling tools to identify the most promising technologies for vehicle applications; component and vehicle evaluations in both laboratory and on-road environments to validate the modeling tools, prove the long-term reliability and benefits of advanced technologies and identify critical R&D needs to improve these technologies; the development of critical codes and standards to reduce the development time for and costs of plug-in electric vehicles and components while ensuring real-world interoperability; and R&D of enabling technologies to improve overall vehicle efficiencies.

Vehicle Materials (Lightweight)

The Lightweight Materials Program addresses technology gaps that currently prevent the further introduction of advanced structural lightweight materials into vehicles. It supports the development and demonstration of advanced high strength steels, aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, carbon fiber composites and multi-material systems with performance and manufacturability that greatly exceed today’s technologies.

Vehicle Materials (Propulsion)

Vehicle Materials (Propulsion) The Propulsion Materials Program develops powertrain materials that enable downsized, high-efficiency engines that provide the greatest opportunity for improvements in overall powertrain efficiency. It addresses new materials for components such as crankshafts, pistons, connecting rods, turbocharger wheels, engine valves, gaskets and bearings that improve efficiency by reducing mechanical/thermal losses and enabling higher peak cylinder pressures.

Vehicle Fuels and Lubricants

The Fuel and Lubricant Technologies Program supports the development of technologies that reduce petroleum consumption through vehicle powertrain efficiency improvements and alternative fuels petroleum displacement. The subprogram’s activities fall into three main categories: 1) alternative and renewable fuels, such as natural gas-derived fuels, drop-in biofuels and other renewable fuels; 2) the use of unique, non-conventional fuel properties to improve efficiency; and 3) lubricant technologies that can reduce friction losses in new and legacy vehicles to improve fuel economy.