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DOE to award up to $137M for SuperTruck II, Vehicle Technology Office programs

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will invest up to $137 million in two programs, subject to appropriations, to develop next-generation technologies that will support industry in going beyond the newly announced Phase II standard for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (earlier post) and also accelerating technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.

One initiative, SuperTruck II (earlier post), will award $80 million to four projects to develop and to demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Through the other initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (earlier post)selections, 35 new projects will receive $57 million to develop and deploy a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric drive systems, to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

SuperTruck II builds on the successful SuperTruck I program, which has already led to more than twenty fuel saving technologies that have reached the commercial market, said Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman.

In 2010, the Energy Department launched the SuperTruck initiative to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%. These trucks haul 80% of goods in the United States and use about 28 billion gallons of fuel per year, accounting for around 22% of total transportation energy usage—presenting a significant opportunity for carbon emissions reduction and energy savings for a key segment of the US transportation sector. Three of the four competitively-selected teams accepted the challenge and have exceeded the 50% goal. The fourth team is on track to exceed the target this year.

For SuperTruck II, the Energy Department has selected the following four SuperTruck II teams for projects of $20 million in federal funding, and each recipient will match that amount, dollar-for-dollar:

  • Cummins, Inc. will design and develop a new more-efficient engine and advanced drivetrain and vehicle technologies.

  • Daimler Trucks North America LLC will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories.

  • Navistar, Inc. will design and develop a vehicle and powertrain with electrified engine components that can enable higher engine efficiency and a significantly more aerodynamically reengineered cab.

  • Volvo Technology of America LLC will develop and demonstrate a tractor trailer combination with lightweight cab that achieves the freight efficiency goal using alternative engine designs and a variety of system technologies.

The Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Selections will aim to reduce the cost and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles through thirty-five projects addressing 11 areas of interest.

The Department of the Army is contributing an additional $2.2 million through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance to support projects specifically focused on advanced high-voltage electrolytes for batteries and advanced engine and powertrain technologies to improve vehicle fuel efficiency.

Most of the projects will support the goals of EV Everywhere, an Energy Department program that aims to make PEVs as affordable and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.

By area of interest, the awards are:

EV Everywhere Plug‐In Electric Vehicle Local Showcases (Area of Interest 1)
Applicant Description Federal funding
American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest Demonstrate plug‐in electric vehicles through local showcases in key markets throughout major metropolitan areas in seven Midwest states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. $999,977
Drive Oregon Demonstrate plug‐in electric vehicles through public ride and drives for a wide variety of PEVs and short term extended test drives in key markets throughout Oregon and Washington. $993,450
Plug In America Promote and demonstrate plug‐in electric vehicles through showcases in a variety of venues throughout New England: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. $500,000

Grid Modernization for Electric Vehicles (Area of Interest 2)
Applicant Description Federal funding
Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. Develop and demonstrate an off‐board bi‐directional DC charging system for plug‐in electric vehicles and evaluate impact of grid services on PEV batteries. $1,999,982
United Parcel Service Develop a high‐efficiency, bi‐directional wireless charging system for medium‐duty plug‐in electric delivery vehicles and evaluate impacts on PEV batteries in this use case. $1,949,007

Accelerated Development and Deployment of Low‐Cost Automotive Mg Sheet Components (Area of Interest 3)
Applicant Description Federal funding
United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC Investigate the use of magnesium sheet for vehicle applications while tackling the major challenges of alloying, stamping, joining, and corrosion protection. Magnesium is one of the lightest structural metals available and can reduce the weight of vehicle components by more than 50%. $5,651,258

Corrosion Protection and Dissimilar Material Joining for Next‐Generation Lightweight Vehicles (Area of Interest 4)
Applicant Description Federal funding
Alcoa Inc. Demonstrate the joining of steel to aluminum and aluminum to carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites using the existing spot welding infrastructure. $1,764,331
PPG Industries, Inc. Develop new coating and adhesives that enable carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic/aluminum closure panels and validate corrosion testing methods. $2,212,519
Ohio State University Demonstrate vaporizing foil actuator welding as a viable dissimilar metal welding technology for creating multi‐material, lightweight vehicles. $2,705,670

Advances for the Production of Low‐Cost Electric Drive vehicle Motors (Area of Interest 5)
Applicant Description Federal funding
General Motors Work with development partners to design and construct both heavy rare earth and entirely rare earth free motor designs using a multi‐layered motor rotor design. $4,962,060
GE Global Research Develop a unique dual structured electrical steel and integrate this material into a 30 kW electric motor designed for electric vehicles. $4,999,285
Illinois Institute of Technology Develop a novel non‐rare earth permanent magnet motor that uses a rotor powered through a wireless coupling which will rival or exceed the current performance of rare‐earth based motor designs. $999,752
Iowa State University Demonstrate a fast switching non‐rare earth permanent magnet motor that can meet current DOE targets by using new hard and soft magnetic materials. $3,835,481

Development of Advanced High‐Voltage Electrolytes and Additives, Conformable and Self‐Healing Solid State Electrolytes, and Lithium Metal Protection (Area of Interest 6)
Description Federal funding
University of Pittsburgh Utilize a novel approach to mitigate lithium dendrite formation by designing a composite lithium anode /current collector. $1,250,000
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Conduct fundamental studies of an alkali halide based solid‐electrolyte to demonstrate self‐ healing properties to overcome low cycle life and safety concerns associated with dendrite formation for lithium metal batteries. $1,250,000
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Design a 3‐D metal fluoride all solid‐state battery that has the potential for extremely high specific and volumetric energy densities (600 Wh/Kg, 1,400 Wh/L). $1,077,074
Daikin America, Inc. Develop fluorine containing carbonate solvents that will allow existing lithium ion batteries to operating above 4.5 V thereby increasing energy density while maintain performance and safety. $1,250,000
Penn State University Park Develop protective, self‐healing layers for lithium metal anodes that will allow high cycling efficiency (> 99.7%) and dendrite‐free cycling. $1,139,319
University of Washington, Seattle Design a novel gel electrolyte that possesses a self‐healing property to suppress dendrites at the lithium metal electrode and traps polysulfides that are detrimental to Li‐S battery cycle life. $1,250,000
West Virginia University Research Corporation Develop solid‐state electrolytes that integrate a highly‐conductive inorganic nano‐fibrous network with a conductive polymer matrix composite to suppress dendrites in lithium‐metal batteries. $1,244,012
The Research Foundation for the SUNY Stony Brook University Investigate lithium‐metal batteries with a solid state, self‐healing electrolyte/separator with improved electrolyte conductivity and cycling efficiency. $1,065,975
University of Maryland Design self‐healing, 3‐D conformal solid state electrolytes to prevent dendrite formation and achieve in high battery cycle life. $1,250,000

Development of Advanced Battery Material Characterization Techniques (Area of Interest 7)
Applicant Description Federal funding
General Motors Develop a comprehensive set of diagnostic techniques that enable the understanding of the mechanical/chemical degradation of the solid electrolyte interface layer to improve the performance and cycle life of current lithium ion batteries. $1,452,676
University of California ‐ San Diego Develop advanced microscopy and spectroscopy tools to understand and optimize the oxygen evolution that impacts the performance of current lithium ion cathodes. $1,080,000

Advanced Battery Materials Modeling (Area of Interest 8)
Applicant Description Federal funding
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Develop a multiscale modelling approach to study the chemical structures of electrolytes and the solid electrolyte interface layers.
University of California ‐ Berkeley Develop a comprehensive model to identify promising materials candidates for all solid state lithium batteries. $891,000
Michigan State University Develop an electrochemical‐mechanical model to design artificially solid electrolyte interface coatings. $999,943

Enabling Technologies for Engine and Powertrain Systems (Area of Interest 9)
Applicant Description Federal funding
Delphi Automotive Systems Develop, build and test a production‐feasible electrically‐actuated dynamic skip fire cylinder deactivation valvetrain. $1,736,338
General Motors Develop and demonstrate technologies to enable a downsized, boosted, lean, low temperature gasoline combustion engine system that improves fuel economy while meeting emissions requirements. $1,900,294
HRL Laboratories, LLC Develop a scalable, low‐cost process to produce the thermal barrier coatings, and apply these coatings on engine components (e.g., valve faces, piston crowns, and exhaust ports) to improve fuel economy. $1,400,260

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Workplace Safety Programs (Area of Interest 10)
Applicant Description Federal funding
Gas Technology Institute Create training and guidance materials for garage facility upgrades and building modifications for facilities that service natural gas, propane, and hydrogen vehicles. $750,000
Marathon Technical Services USA Inc. Develop a unified reference guide of design requirements, and provide in‐person training and tours that showcase best practice garage/maintenance facilities for natural gas, propane, and hydrogen vehicles. $750,000

Open Topic/Exploratory Research (Area of Interest 11)
Applicant Description Federal funding
United Parcel Service, Inc. Develop advanced solutions for Class 7 and Class 8 heavy‐duty vehicles that eliminates or mitigates the negative effects of current diesel exhaust after‐treatment equipment systems on dual fuel trucks. $998,420
PPG Industries, Inc. Develop a new silica filler for non‐tread tire components that can increase fuel‐efficiency by up to 2% while maximizing key performance properties compared to current filler blends. $914,771
University of Florida Develop high temperature, high strength, and lightweight alloys for automotive applications such as internal combustion engines using 3D laser printing. $991,873


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