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DOE to issue $56M funding opportunity for vehicle technologies in January

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will issue, on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), a FY 2016 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement, with an estimated $56 million of total program funding, in the January 2016 timeframe.

VTO supports a broad technology portfolio aimed at developing and deploying advanced highway transportation technologies that reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while meeting or exceeding vehicle performance and cost expectations. Research, development, and deployment efforts are focused on reducing the cost and improving the performance of a mix of near- and long-term vehicle technologies including advanced batteries, power electronics and electric motors, lightweight and propulsion materials, advanced combustion engines, advanced fuels and lubricants, and other enabling technologies. The January 2016 FOA thus may include the following Areas of Interest, covering that spectrum of interests:

  1. EV Everywhere Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) and Infrastructure Showcases. The objective of this effort is to establish pilot PEV customer showcases and experience centers in high-traffic areas that will be a one-stop resource center for customers allowing interested individuals to test drive a range of PEVs and allow electricity providers, infrastructure providers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), dealers, and others to provide education to consumers, local government, property managers, workplaces and fleets. Funds may not be used for the purchase or installation of fueling infrastructure or vehicles.

  2. Grid Modernization for Electric Vehicles. The objective of this effort is to research, develop, and demonstrate grid modernization technologies for a smooth transition to the mass adoption of electric vehicles including grid- based load control technology using vehicle to grid (V2G) communication, vehicle-based reverse power flow technology, and evaluation of the impact of grid-managed vehicle charging.

  3. Accelerated Development and Deployment of Low-Cost Automotive Magnesium (Mg) Sheet Components. The objective of this effort is to apply an integrated suite of experimental, computational, and data tools to accelerate research, development, and demonstration of a magnesium sheet component (or components) on a model year 2013 or newer vehicle at a manufacturing cost of less than $2.50 per pound of weight saved.

  4. Corrosion Protection and Dissimilar Material Joining for Next-Generation Lightweight Vehicles. The objective of this effort is to identify specific dissimilar material joining and/or corrosion protection challenges preventing near term introduction of lightweight materials, and to bring novel technologies addressing these challenges to near-commercial readiness. Dissimilar metal joint systems are limited to aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber composites.

  5. Advances for the Production of Low Cost Electric Drive Vehicle Motors. The objective of this effort is to develop and show technology readiness for advanced electric machine technologies with a focus on motor design, material, and production pathways to significantly lower cost. Projects should emphasize materials-based developments that link to manufacturing and scale-up of materials and machine designs that can meet cost, specific power, and power density for electric drive vehicle motors.

  6. Development of Advanced High-Voltage Electrolytes and Additives, Solid State Electrolytes and Lithium Metal Protection. The objectives of this effort are to develop: 1) Advanced electrolytes and additives that are stable above 4.3V, safe and low cost without sacrificing performance; 2) Conformable and self-healing solid state electrolytes; and 3) Novel approaches to protect the metallic lithium electrode from dendrite formation.

  7. Advanced Battery Component Material Diagnostics. The objective of this effort is to develop in situ microscopy and spectroscopy tools to identify physical and chemical changes of Li battery components during charging and discharging with time, depth, and space resolution that allows detailed monitoring of processes at relevant length scales. When combined with advanced electrochemical techniques, especially at the single particle level, these suites of techniques can provide a rich understanding of battery behavior during operation.

  8. Advanced Battery Materials Modeling. The objective of this effort is to develop advanced models to assess emerging Li-Ion and beyond Li-Ion systems in order to understand the challenges impeding their full potential. Models will include electrochemical/chemical and transport processes (kinetics, thermodynamics, phase transitions, ion transport, etc.) that occur in a wide range of length and time scales. The focus of this effort will be on pushing the boundary of modeling techniques and to use the knowledge gained to suggest solutions to relevant problems.

  9. Enabling Technologies for Engine and Powertrain Systems. The objective of this effort is to develop advanced enabling technologies for engine and powertrain systems for heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles that are capable of supporting the achievement of breakthrough thermal efficiencies while meeting future emissions standards. These novel approaches and ideas should address existing barriers and limitations which inhibit using advanced technologies on a mass market basis to address national energy concerns. Some of the enabling technologies to be considered include but are not limited to low-cost, robust sensors for engine exhaust constituents and in-cylinder phenomena; waste heat recovery; variable valve actuation and timing; lightweight components; reduced friction; low heat rejection and thermal management; low energy penalty emission controls; advanced fuel injection; intake air management; and turbomachinery.

  10. Emission Control Strategies for Advanced Combustion Engines. The objective of this effort is to advance the state-of-the-art catalysis and aftertreatment strategies for advanced combustion regimes with breakthrough thermal efficiencies including, but not limited to, Homogeneous-Charge Compression-Ignition, Lean Stratified Combustion, and Compression-Ignition Gasoline applications for passenger and commercial vehicle applications. Projects proposed will enable vehicles with advanced combustion engines to meet Tier 3 emissions standards and minimize the energy penalty of the aftertreatment system.

  11. Alternative Fuel Vehicle Workplace Safety Programs. The objective of this effort is to provide safety training and guidance related to maintenance and garage facility upgrades and building modifications that are required in order to use alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). Workshops will include site tours showcasing facilities that have been properly designed/upgraded for AFV code-compliance and safety. Each project will include 5-7 regional workshops, develop written handbooks and online technical guidance, videos, and reports on best practices for insuring safety compliance while keeping construction costs reasonable and appropriate. This effort is focused only on EPACT-defined gaseous fuels (natural gas, propane, and hydrogen).

  12. Open Topic/Exploratory Research. The objective of this effort is to bring to market a novel, non-incremental technology that facilitates one or more of the overall VTO goals but are not represented in a significant way in the Office’s existing Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) or current portfolio. The full spectrum of technologies and non-hardware solutions relevant to efficient and environmentally friendly transportation technologies that will enable America to use less petroleum will be considered.

EERE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately 2-5 years.


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