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DOE awards nearly $55M to advance fuel efficient vehicle technologies in support of EV Everywhere and SuperTruck

18 September 2015

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding nearly $55 million for 24 projects to develop and deploy advanced vehicle technologies, supporting the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable to own and operate as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.

Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Energy Department, the Department of the Army is contributing an additional $2.26 million in co-funding to support projects focused on battery modeling technologies and computational fluid dynamics.

The new investments will go toward a wide range of research, development, and demonstration projects that aim to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles. These selections are under two major thrust areas:

  • Critical Technologies to meet the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge. Sixteen projects are aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of key PEV components. This includes developing advanced manufacturing and process technologies for advanced battery materials, advanced electrode and cell fabrication manufacturing, and integrated wide band gap power modules for next generation plug-in vehicles. Other projects focus on electric drive battery modeling for vehicles and advancing lightweight materials research to help electric vehicles increase their range and reduce battery needs.

  • Fuel Efficiency Improvements in Passenger Vehicles and Commercial Trucks. Eight projects are aimed at improvements including developing and demonstrating dual-fuel or dedicated natural gas engine technologies for high-efficiency medium and heavy-duty vehicles to reduce petroleum usage and developing advanced computational fluid dynamics models to accelerate the development of advanced engine technologies. Building on the SuperTruck activity, other projects aim at developing enabling technologies to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty diesel engines.

Vehicle Technologies Program Awards
Awardee
(Partners)
Description Federal funding
Wide Bandgap (WBG) Power Module R&D – Integrated Power Modules
(Area of Interest 1)
General Motors This project will research, develop, and demonstrate a highly integrated wide bandgap power module for next generation plug-in vehicles $3,993,697
Delphi Automotive Systems This project will develop a low cost, ultra-compact power module using innovative integrated-cooling to increase power density, improve performance, and reduce cost. $1,788,303
Ultra-Light Door Design, Manufacturing and Demonstration
(Area of Interest 2)
Vehma International of America This project will develop and demonstrate an advanced drivers-side front door architecture comprised of lightweight materials, functionally integrated component parts, innovative mechanisms and door seal systems. $4,222,292
TPI Composites This project will design, develop, and demonstrate an ultra- light hybrid composite door and utilize predictive engineering (PE) to identify robust material and process design cycles. $2,987,269
Clemson University This project will utilize a systems approach to design and demonstrate an ultra-lightweight carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites door assembly through the integration of unique designs, novel materials, and manufacturing technologies and joining/assembly of subsystems. $2,249,994
Body-In-White Joining of Carbon Fiber Composites to Lightweight Metals (Aluminum, Advanced High Strength Steel, or Magnesium) at Prototype Scale for High-Volume Manufacturing
(Area of Interest 3)
GM This project will develop and demonstrate the joining of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites to lightweight aluminum using friction stir scribe (FSS) technology enabling multi-material (CFRP / aluminum) body-in-white structures for vehicles. $1,608,687
Advances in Existing and Next-Generation Battery Material Manufacturing Processes
(Area of Interest 4)
Cabot Corp. This project will develop and demonstrate low cost flexible aerosol manufacturing technology for the production of high performance lithium-ion battery cathodes with long cycle life. $2,977,876
The Curators of The University of Missouri This project will develop an integrated flame spray process for low cost production of battery materials for lithium ion batteries and beyond. $2,215,560
Boulder Ionics This project will demonstrate advanced lithium salt and electrolyte production using continuous-flow process intensification techniques to enable higher performance and lower cost. $2,399,833
Navitas Advanced Solutions Group This project will demonstrate a commercially scalable process to fabricate nanocomposite silicon anodes. $1,125,430
Advances in Electrode and Cell Fabrication Manufacturing
(Area of Interest 5)
Miltec UV This project will develop and demonstrate the use of ultraviolet curing technology to reduce manufacturing cost and improve the performance of lithium ion battery electrodes. $2,054,560
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) This project will utilize co-extrusion technology to fabricate and validate high-energy and high-power electrodes for electric vehicle applications./td> $2,999,115
PPG Industries The project will develop novel binders and active materials to enable a low-cost, water-based, electrodeposited lithium ion battery (LIB) electrode coating system and manufacturing process. $2,999,275
Electric Drive Vehicular Battery Modeling for Commercially Available Software
(Area of Interest 6)
GM This project will develop commercially available software that improves the computational processing time of battery pack performance modeling by a factor of 100. 2,955,360 (jointly funded)
Analysis and Design Application Company This project will develop a commercially available software tool that is capable of predicting battery performance at the electrode level in order to improve battery cycle life and computational efficiency at the cell and pack level. $2,880,000 (jointly funded)
Ford Motor This project will develop commercially available software that is capable of predicting battery safety performance under typical abuse test conditions. $3,500,000 (jointly funded)
Enabling Technologies for Heavy-Duty Vehicles
(Area of Interest 7)
Cummins The project will leverage the design, analysis and development work that has been invested through the Cummins SuperTruck program to demonstrate a peak diesel engine system efficiency of 55% Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) while also implementing an advanced, highly integrated combustion/aftertreatment system. $4,500,000
Eaton The project will design and demonstrate an innovative approach to utilize the engine cooling system in a simplified Rankine cycle that converts engine exhaust heat energy to useful work for heavy duty diesel engines (HDDE).
$2,013,571
Physics-Based Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Sub-Model Development and Validation
(Area of Interest 8)
Penn State This project will develop improved computer models for simulating heat losses related to engine combustion. Understanding these losses will enable them to be minimized, contributing to the next-generation clean and efficient engines. $684,236 (jointly funded)
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois This project will develop improved computer models for simulating fuel vaporization in internal combustion engines. Better understanding of this process will contribute to higher efficiency engines in the future. $698,040 (jointly funded)
Michigan Technological University The proposed research will develop a new computer model for prediction of exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines. The new model will facilitate the rapid development of high-efficiency, low emissions engine concepts. $750,000 (jointly funded)
Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin The proposed research will develop a new computer model for prediction of exhaust emissions from internal combustion engines. The new model will facilitate the rapid development of high-efficiency, low emissions engine concepts. $541,727 (jointly funded)
The University of Alabama This research will develop an accurate computer models of fuel injection under supercritical fluid conditions. The model will improve the accuracy in predicting high-pressure diesel fuel sprays of future engines. $596,012 (jointly funded)
High-Efficiency, Medium and Heavy-Duty Natural Gas (Dedicated or Dual-Fuel) Engine Technologies
(Area of Interest 9)
Robert Bosch This project will develop and demonstrate a high-efficiency spark-ignited natural gas engine and develop a hybrid three-way catalyst (TWC)-selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system to maximize engine efficiency at a significantly lower cost than competing, diesel-based, dual-fuel approaches.  $1,756,225

September 18, 2015 in Batteries, Electric (Battery), Engines, Fuel Efficiency, Heavy-duty, Materials, Weight reduction | Permalink | Comments (8)

Comments

Looks like DOE is giving away money again in a shotgun approach to satisfy the politics instead of true needs, i.e., like funding all solutions hoping one will stick. It's not that hard to improve mileage on ICE vehicles; use an electric motor to accelerate the mass from stop and to supplement acceleration at speed. Use a downsized ICE to maintain steady velocity during cruising. Toyota's been doing it for years...it's called a parallel hybrid. There's a lot of DOE money wasted on this nonsense instead of putting it where it will do the most good; developing high density traction batteries and moving them to the mas market asap.

I quote "to make plug-in electric vehicles as affordable to own and operate as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022". This is wishful thinking that cannot happen because we know that the 100kwh battery that is needed for 300 miles range in an average size car will cost Tesla 20,000 USD to make at the pack level including gross profit in 2020 and everyone else that does not own a 50Gwh factory will need 30,000 USD to make this battery pack.

However, drop old thinking about car ownership and stereotypes about what a car is and we can make zero emission transportation far more affordable than economy gassers by 2022. This is how it could be done.

You make a self-driving two-seater that uses a 40kwh battery to go 300 miles per charge. It can go 300 miles on 40kwh because it only has two seats in succession and therefore has half the air drag as a four seat car. It can also be made to weight less than half as much as a typical four seat car because it is half the size and can use low weight materials more intensively. Low weight materials like high strength aluminium and carbon fibre are expensive but with a car that is half the size you do not need as much of these high cost materials as in a full size car and because the car is autonomous it can be operated as a tireless taxi working 24 hours a day 7 days per week throughout the year apart from time spend charging and receiving cleaning services. It should easily be able to log 100,000 miles per year instead of 15,000 miles per year in a privately owned car. The point being that 1 USD of capital expenses for the car is split on 7 miles instead of 1 mile. However, the car will be expensive to make. About 8000 USD for the battery, another 8000 USD for computers and sensors enabling its self driving capability, 5000 USD for redundancy of driving critical systems and 24,000 USD for everything else so about 45,000 USD. The car will have a service life of 1,000,000 miles or five times longer than what is realistic with combustion engines or fuel cells. So capital cost is 4.5 cents per mile. Doing 300 miles of 40kwh costing 6 cents per kwh charging at night will cost less than 1 cent per mile ((0.008=40*0.06)/300). Insurance cost will be very low as well because the self-driving car will have nearly none accidents that are caused by its own failures and it has the videos evidence to prove it. Cleaning and occasional maintenance will cost but expect less than 3 cents per mile. Total operator costs will be roughly 11 cents per mile that could sell for 15 cents per mile to be highly profitable for the operator. This is less than half the cost of driving a mile in a Toyota Camry and much lower than the 1.4 USD per mile that taxis with human drivers are charging today.

The car will be ordered using a Smartphone and because these self-driving taxis are everywhere in the cities and the suburbs they will arrive within a minute of ordering it. You pay extra for the option to drive alone, you also pay more the more you and your luggage weight as it will mean more electricity consumption and more wear down on the car. The car will have sensors that measure the weight. So kids will pay less. You also pay extra if you spill food or beverage that require a cleaning. The car will have cameras and an IA system that can determine that and if you object to the AI administrated fine a human operator can be called instantly to make a final decision. The cars will also have explosive detectors to minimise the chance that someone use these cars for terror. You can also use this cars to deliver stuff to relatives or friends without being in the car yourself. However, you will pay extra if the receiving party is not at the supposed location at the supposed time. If you only need the car for transporting stuff to someone this option is set on your Smartphone and the two seats will be mechanically folded down to allow for maximum cargo space. This is already done when the car arrives. If you are more than 2 people that need to go somewhere together you can just order more two seat self-driving taxis or alternatively pay a lot more and get a four seat or 8 seat car that will be rarer and therefore have longer time to arrive. Anything is possible but we need self-driving cars to do it.

Henrik. Do I have to pay for Vehicle collision/liability coverage and Vehicle personal property taxes in your scheme?

@Lad: Such is the nature of government agencies who are basically forbidden to "play favorites" as far as manufacturers go, and therefore resort to a scattershot approach.

Henrik, I applaud your vision of the future!!!
Would certainly be a game changer ;-)

In the meantime I would like to see an updated version of the Toyota eCom.
A small 2 seater sister to the original EV RAV4 - & predecessor to their Prius. A specified range of 80 km (50 miles) from just a Ni-MH 8 kWh battery pack.
I do wonder about the top speed of 100 kph (60 mph) though.

Still in Oz the majority of our population live in urban areas.
With most households containing just the one, or two people.

Perhaps China can provide an interim solution - before I need a self-driving vehicle.
If lightweight F1 cars can be made safe, my increasingly fragile bones might also be protected :-)

You pay for the self-driving taxi using your Smartphone and the amount will include VAT as it does for any other purchase of goods and services. Otherwise you as a taxi customer are not responsible for anything. The taxi operator will pay for insurance or more likely be self-insured and also pay corporate taxes on profits made. I imagine the worlds largest operators of self-driving taxis will be Google, Apple, Uber, Lyft, and Tesla. The business approaches will be different though. Apple will have contractors make the cars but will operate and design the cars themselves like they do with the iPhone. Tesla will design, build and operate the taxis themselves. Google will make the self driving technology and operate data canters and make maps but they will only operate a limited taxi fleet themselves for demonstration purposes (like the nexus brand). Google's main business is to licence the technology to any other companies that want their cars to be self driving for whatever reason and operate the data canters behind it. Uber and Lyft will be taxi operators first and foremost but will probably also develop their own self driving technology in order not to pay royalties to a company like Google. Today's automakers that produce gassers will all go bankrupt if they believe gassers has a future or they will adapt and start making these BEV self driving cars and write off all of their gasser IP and factories that produce gas engines and complex transmissions. It is going to be dramatic no matter what and be the fastest transformation of the worlds largest industry the world has ever seen. If the first self-driving taxi service starts between 2020 and 2025 I believe the entire transformation of the global auto industry will be complete 20 years later. So in 2040 to 2045 there will not be any gassers left apart from museums and as hobbies for nostalgias.

Sorry, but the autonomous self-driving car is a complete ruse. It wouldn't do much good even if it were technically possible, which it isn't. Automobile-related business interests simply want the public to believe it's possible in order to delay implementing real solutions to the economic insanity of people driving everywhere like chickens with their heads cut off. Some of the R&D will find useful automotive application; emergency braking, speed regulation and limits. Lines of 'tailgating' freeway commuters ain't gonna happen. Steering entirely and basic accellerator/brakes will remain driver operated. We're better off with fewer cars on the road driving less.

Yes, automated e-taxis and e-buses (all sizes) will come.

One way to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads/streets would be to share higher capacity taxis (mini-buses?)

UBER could manage an effetive lower cost sharing system with various pick-ups on the way. Cost per passenger would be automatically adjusted while maintaining a fair profit margin for operators.

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