DOE awards $60M in funding for CO2 emissions research, development projects

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it would provide $60 million to 24 research and development projects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars and light- and heavy-duty trucks.

The projects, led by universities and industry, will focus on electric vehicle battery technology and drive systems, new mobility systems, and vehicle light-weighting to reduce pollution.

“Fossil-fuel powered cars and trucks are a leading cause of air pollution and carbon emissions, and that is why we are focusing on decarbonizing the transportation sector to achieve President Biden’s climate goals,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Partnering with industry and leading research universities, DOE’s investment in these 24 projects will create technologies and techniques that will cut vehicle greenhouse emissions and boost America’s competitiveness in the global clean energy market.”

Funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Vehicles Technology Office (VTO), the project will address the two largest contributors to transportation sector emissions – passenger cars and light-duty trucks, with account for nearly 60 percent of emissions, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks, which account for nearly 25 percent of emissions.

Twelve projects will split $28.1 million to focus on developing the next generation of lithium batteries. The projects will improve battery lifespan, safety, and affordability; improve battery performance and durability; and increase the power density of electric drive systems. Another six projects would split $20.2 million to ready new mobility systems technology for commercial and consumer use. These projects would look at how automated, connected, electric, and shared vehicle technology interacts with the larger transportation systems.

Clemson University will receive $5.8 million to develop a lightweight, multi-material passenger vehicle body structure to increase passenger and commercial vehicle efficiency. An additional two projects will split $5.1 million to develop tools to accelerate the development of advanced emissions systems that will reduce exhaust emissions while improving engine efficiency in heavy-duty vehicles. Finally, three projects will split $1 million to improve the understanding of energy use and environmental impact of new vehicle technologies.