CU Boulder gets grant for electric vehicle engineering research center

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CU Boulder’s new engineering research center will focus on developing infrastructure and systems to facilitate widespread adoption of electric vehicles, the university said Tuesday.

The Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE) Center will look into a wide variety of transportation questions – from electrified highways that electrify vehicles to the placement of charging stations, data security, and workforce development.

Funded by a $26 million National Science Foundation grant, the project is led by Utah State University. CU Boulder will receive $4 million in grant funds over the first four years and another $4 million if the project is renewed after that time.

While the headquarters for ASPIRE are located at Utah State, the project will operate through strategic partnerships with several universities, including Purdue University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and the University of Auckland New Zealand. Other partners include researchers at Colorado State University, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Virginia Tech, Cornell University, and four national laboratories.

“CU Boulder has a well-earned reputation as a leader in sustainability-focused research and innovation,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Terri Fiez. “ASPIRE will provide our researchers with an exciting new opportunity for global impact through the collaborative reimagining of the future of transportation as we know it.”

The center will focus its work on innovation, research, education and workforce development, diversity and inclusion while working to catalyze sustainable and equitable electrification across the transportation industries.

“We need to understand the factors that are impacting the development and adoption of this technology so that we’re solving the right problems,” said Qin (Christine) Lv, ASPIRE’s CU Boulder campus director and co-Principal Investigator of the Engineering Research Center.