The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $45 million to 38 new projects that accelerate the research and development of advanced vehicle technologies. Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the Energy Department and the Department of the Army, the Army is contributing an additional $3 million in co-funding to support projects focused on lightweighting and propulsion materials, batteries, fuels, and lubricants.
The 38 projects span five major areas: advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials; advanced batteries; power electronics; fuels and lubricants; and efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
Advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials: 15 projects, $10.2 million. Advanced materials are essential for boosting the fuel economy of cars and trucks while maintaining and improving safety and performance. Next generation lightweight materials can reduce passenger car weight by up to 50%. Reducing a vehicle’s weight by just 10% can improve fuel economy by 6% to 8%.
These projects will conduct research on lightweight materials—such as advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, and aluminum—that allow vehicle manufacturers to include electric drive components, electronic systems, and emissions control equipment without increasing vehicle weight.
|Advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials|
|University of Michigan||This project will measure how temperature changes affect advanced cast magnesium alloys.||$600,000|
|The Ohio State University||This project will apply high-throughput approaches to study the kinetics of magnesium-based systems for automotive cast magnesium alloys.||$600,000|
|Pacific Northwest National Laboratory||￼￼￼ This project will examine the micro-structural evolution of automotive cast magnesium alloys during solidification and heat-treatment.||$500,000|
|Oak Ridge National Laboratory||This project will develop an improved understanding of corrosion in advanced magnesium alloys.||$100,000|
|Arizona State University||This project will examine corrosion of magnesium alloys at the microstructure level.||$499,961|
|Mississippi State University||This project will utilize a multi-scale modeling and experimental approach to examine corrosion in magnesium alloys.||$499,998|
|Oak Ridge National Laboratory||The project will develop and validate solid-state spot joining technology to join body-in-white high strength steel and aluminum.||$178,714|
|Ford Motor Company||￼This project will develop and demonstrate a novel impact welding technique for multi-material body-in-white.||$1,500,000|
|General Motors||his project will develop the processes and tools to join aluminum to advanced high strength steel utilizing friction stir scribe technology.||$1,278,125|
|Johns Hopkins University||This project will develop heat-generating foils to provide strong and stable bonds between aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys, and steels.||$595,520 (jointly funded)|
|Chrysler Group||￼This project will demonstrate a robust, cost effective, and versatile technique to join die cast magnesium to dissimilar aluminum alloys and mild and high strength steels.||$587,248 (jointly funded)|
|Oak Ridge National Laboratory||This project will demonstrate laser-assisted joining of aluminum and carbon fiber components to reduce vehicle weight.||$600,000|
|The Ohio State University||his project will develop and demonstrate vapor- assisted collision welding of dissimilar metals.||$568,499 (jointly funded)|
|Michigan State University, Composite Vehicle Research Center||This project will demonstrate the bonding, repairability, and reassembly of dissimilar materials using thermoplastic adhesives.||$599,999 (jointly funded)|
|Caterpillar||￼￼￼ ￼This project will develop a combination of new alloys and novel casting techniques to produce high-performance, low-cost castings for crankshafts and rotating components with properties similar to forged units.||$1,500,000|
Advanced batteries: 13 projects, $22.5 million. In the last four years, the cost of a plug-in electric vehicle battery has come down by nearly 50%. The new projects will help improve cell chemistry and composition, develop advanced electrolytes, and create new battery design tools, helping to further reduce costs. Broadly, the projects aim to cut battery size and weight in half, while improving efficiency and performance.
|Argonne National Laboratory||This project will develop a new high energy electrochemical couple for automotive applications that meets or exceeds energy requirements for electric drive vehicles.||$2,500,000|
|Farasis Energy||This project will develop high energy density lithium-ion cells for electric vehicles based on novel, high voltage manganese-rich cathode material coupled with a metal alloy composite anode and a high voltage electrolyte.||2,762,074|
|Envia Systems||This project will develop high-energy lithium batteries for plug-in electric vehicles by pairing high capacity manganese-rich cathodes with high capacity silicon/carbon based nanocomposites.||$3,028,070|
|TIAX||￼This project will develop high-energy lithium batteries for PEV applications that couples the applicant’s patented CAM-7, high-energy high-power cathode material, silicon-based anode material, and a separator capable of supporting high current density.||$1,747,787|
|The Pennsylvania State University||This project will develop high energy, long cycle life lithium-ion batteries for PEV applications consisting of a micro-sized porous silicon alloy-carbon composite anode coupled with a high performance Ni-rich layered oxide cathode coated with an ultra-stable LiFePO4 coating.||$2,985,000|
|3M Company||This project will develop a new high energy electrochemical couple for automotive applications that exceeds energy requirements for PEV applications that couples a high capacity core shell cathode, advanced electrolyte, and advanced stable silicon alloy composite anode with a novel conductive polymer binder.||$3,000,043|
|Alliance for Sustainable Energy - NREL||This project will develop computer-aided design tools to characterize the coupled mechanical and electrochemical response of lithium-ion batteries to abuse conditions in cells.||$1,003,674|
|EC Power||This project will develop and validate design tools to characterize the coupled mechanical and electrochemical response of lithium-ion batteries to abuse conditions in cells.||$1,000,000 (jointly funded)|
|Sandia National Laboratories||The project will develop computer-aided tools to predict and understand the implications of thermal runaway of lithium-ion batteries.||￼ $1,500,000|
|Alliance for Sustainable Energy - NREL||The project will develop a computational methodology to significantly improve the computational efficiency of nonlinear multiscale battery modeling and maintain or enhance the solution accuracy from the most advanced models.||$717,580|
|Daikin America||This project will develop advanced high performance electrolytes, based on fluoro-chemistries that allow batteries to operate at a higher voltage and temperature.||$912,021|
|Argonne National Laboratory||This project will develop a new generation electrolyte system with outstanding stabilities at high voltage and high temperature and with improved safety characteristics for lithium ion battery for PHEV and EV.||$360,000|
|Wildcat Discovery Technologies||This project will develop novel non-carbonate based electrolytes for silicon anodes, enabling substantial improvements in energy density and cost relative to current lithium-ion batteries.||$999,778|
Power electronics: 4 projects, $8 million. Compared to silicon-based technologies, wide bandgap semiconductors—such as silicon carbide and gallium nitride—can operate at higher temperatures, have greater durability and reliability, and can lower the cost and improve performance of plug-in electric vehicle inverters. Separately, new approaches to enable high-temperature operation and cost reduction for capacitors in these inverters will also help to reduce the cost of vehicle power electronics. These projects will contribute to reducing the cost of a plug-in electric vehicle inverter by more than 30%.
|Sigma Technologies International Group||This project will focus on reducing the cost, size, and weight of high temperature capacitors for power electronics while increasing durability.||$2,443,559|
|Argonne National Laboratory||This project will develop an efficient, cost-effective process to produce advanced high-temperature capacitors for power inverters in electric drive vehicles.￼||$1,859,897|
|GE Global Research||This project will develop high performance DC link film capacitors for electric drive vehicle systems.||$1,750,000|
|Arkansas Power Electronics International||This project will demonstrate advanced wide bandgap inverters for under-the-hood electric vehicle traction drives.||$1,999,935|
Advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems: 2 projects, $4 million. Reducing the impact of heating and cooling on plug-in electric vehicles can significantly increase all-electric driving range. These two projects are focused on developing innovative heating and cooling technologies that reduce battery demands and improve range by 20% to 30%.
|Delphi Automotive Systems||This project will develop and integrate a phase change heating system for vehicles and demonstrate a significant reduction in the energy used for passenger cabin heating in electric vehicles.||$1,741,263|
|Halla Visteon Climate Control USA||This project will develop, integrate, and demonstrate an efficient heating and cooling (heat pump) system as well as other novel solutions to achieve and maintain passenger comfort using less battery power.||$2,342,108|
Fuels and lubricants: 4 projects, $2.5 million. These projects will develop advanced fuels and lubricants that can reduce friction losses and increase the efficiency of cars already on the market and next generation passenger vehicles.
|Fuels and lubricants|
|Ford Motor||This project will adapt lubricant technologies from high-value, high-precision applications, such as turbo-machinery, for use as an axle lubricant base stock.||$350,000 (jointly funded)|
|Northwestern University||This project will develop novel lubricant formulations with the potential to improve the fuel efficiency of light and medium vehicles by at least 2%.||$1,000,000|
|Pacific Northwest National Laboratory||This project will develop and test novel molecules in base oils that may substantially improve fuel efficiency without increasing wear.||$519,375|
|Ashland Consumer Markets||This project will develop prototype lubricants to improve fuel economy through integrated design of advanced lubricants in multiple systems in heavy-duty vehicles.||￼$593,869 (jointly funded)|