DOE to award up to $62.5M for applied research in high-energy and -power batteries and ultracaps for automotive applications
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000722) to award up to $62.5 million over 5 years to a single consortium to support applied research into electrochemical storage technologies—i.e., high-power and high-energy batteries and ultracapacitors—suitable for automobile industry applications. DOE anticipates making a single award with an award size ranging from $25,000,000 to $62,500,000 in DOE share along with 50% cost-share requirement.
DOE also recently selected a multi-partner team led by Argonne National Laboratory for a 5-year award of up to $120 million over five years to establish a new Batteries and Energy Storage Hub. (Earlier post.) The Hub, to be known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), will combine the R&D capabilities of five DOE national laboratories, five universities, and four private firms in an effort aimed at achieving longer-term revolutionary advances in battery performance, targeting electric and hybrid cars and the electricity grid.
The new FOA comes from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in support of the Vehicles Technology Program’s (VTP) general goal to develop technologies that enable cars and trucks to become highly efficient through affordable and improved drivetrain, lightweighting technologies, and cleaner domestic fuels. Specific goals of the VTP Hybrid and Electric Systems Team include enabling the use of advanced electric drive technologies in vehicle systems by developing low-cost batteries, advanced power electronics and electric motor components, and the development and validation of models and simulation tools to predict the performance, fuel economy, and emissions of advanced conventional and electric-drive vehicle systems.
Such energy storage goals will be accomplished through the funding of research and development (R&D) ranging from focused, long-term research to more applied R&D. Most of the longer term research will be done in universities and the national laboratories, but much of the more applied work will be done within the domestic battery industry, DOE notes.
In order to ensure that this R&D is relevant and responsive to the needs of the manufacturers of electric drive vehicles, VTP believes that it is important to be able to work with and through a consortium that brings together a significant fraction of the major manufacturers of electric drive vehicles in the US.
The primary purpose of this consortium will be to fund and to manage research to design, to develop, to build, and to test electrochemical energy storage devices that have the potential of meeting or exceeding DOE’s light-duty EDV battery cost and performance targets. Funding will be supplied by DOE for both consortium management costs, and sub-award R&D costs with the appropriate cost share provided by the consortium or R&D sub-awards for both the management and R&D costs, respectively.
The R&D efforts should focus on high-power batteries, high-energy batteries, and ultracapacitors for automobile applications. Each selected project will be managed by technical experts from the consortium’s key stakeholders.
One of the goals of this consortium should be to engage the battery manufacturers and other key stakeholders, such as universities, national laboratories, and manufacturers and developers that supply critical materials and components to the battery industry.