The US Department of Energy (DOE) will soon issue its FY17 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0001701). The FOA will have estimated funding of $47,150,000; DOE expects to post the full announcement (DE-FOA-0001629) in December.
DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office supports a broad technology portfolio of advanced highway transportation technologies. 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 upcoming FOA may include the following areas of interest (AOI):
Advanced Technology Battery Cell Development. Analysis suggests that cost parity between electric drive and internal combustion vehicles is possible under certain scenarios when battery pack costs fall below $125/kWh (useable energy). The objective of this area of interest is to develop and to demonstrate electrochemical energy storage cell technologies capable of addressing the technical barriers to widespread commercialization of PEVs that approach or achieve the battery pack cost target.
Battery500 Seedling Projects. The purpose of this topic is to identify proof-of-concept or seedling projects that will complement the research in the Battery500 Program. (Earlier post.) The objective of the VTO Battery500 Program is to research, develop, and demonstrate lithium battery technologies capable of achieving a cell specific energy of ≥500 Wh/kg while achieving 1,000 cycles. The two technologies being developed in the program are Lithium metal/Sulfur and Lithium metal/high Nickel Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) cells, using solid or concentrated liquid electrolytes.
Development of Electric Traction Drive Systems. The objective of this area of interest is to develop and demonstrate both technology and supplier readiness for the production of electric traction drive systems that can meet specified technical targets, including cost of ≤$8/kilowatt (kW); specific power of ≥1.4 kW/kilogram; power density of ≥4.0 kW/Liter; and efficiency ≥94%. DOE is putting particular emphasis on meeting the cost target. Traction drive systems should be demonstrated as meeting these targets through dynamometer testing.
Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) Development of Low Cost Carbon Fiber for Lightweight Vehicles. The objective of this area of interest is simultaneously to develop low cost carbon fiber (CF) precursor technology to support immediate weight reduction in Light Duty vehicles while also advancing Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) techniques to support a reduced development‐to-deployment lead time in all lightweight materials systems. For the purposes of this area of interest, CF is defined as a material consisting of thin, strong multi-crystalline filaments of carbon, used as a strengthening material, especially in resins also achieving the following mechanical and cost requirements. Applications shall use an integrated approach to predict, design, develop, and optimize precursor chemistry (petroleum and non-petroleum derived) for candidates that meet the requirements described above.
Targeted cost is equal to or less than $5/lb.
Emission Control Strategies for Advanced Combustion Engines. The objective of this area of interest is to research, develop, and demonstrate cost effective and efficient catalyst materials and after-treatment strategies that enable light, medium, or heavy duty vehicles with advanced low temperature combustion strategies to meet Tier 3 emissions standards while achieving breakthrough thermal efficiencies. This AOI is restricted to US colleges, universities, and non-profit research institutions which operate as divisions under colleges or universities.
Open Topic. The objective of this area of interest is to develop novel, non-incremental technologies that are not represented in a significant way in the VTO’s existing Technology Roadmaps, current project portfolios, or topics represented in this FOA. Projects should support high-risk, proof-of-concept research to develop a unique technology concept that enables energy efficient “smart” mobility systems. Specific emphasis will be given to concepts that support future transportation scenarios allowing for the efficient movement of people and goods in a way that minimizes energy consumption. Consideration will be given to connectivity and automation, solutions applicable to multiple modes of transport suitable for the urban environment, and the infrastructure required to support consumer adoption of efficient mobility systems. The full spectrum of technologies including hardware and non-hardware solutions relevant to efficient and environmentally friendly transportation technologies will be considered.