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DOE issues Notice of Intent for 2020 advanced vehicle technology research

The US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office published a notice of intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) titled “Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research FOA.” This FOA may include the following topics:

  • Lithium-ion batteries using silicon-based anode. The objective of this potential area of interest is to research, fabricate, and test lithium battery cells that have potential to achieve electric vehicle battery performance requirements and that implement silicon electrodes and current cathode technology minimally capable of either (a) 1,000 cycles and 10-year calendar life, or (b) 3,000 cycles and 5-year calendar life. The potential area of interest addresses fundamental materials research as well as cell optimization and development.

  • Low-cost electric traction drive systems using no heavy rare earth materials. The objective of this potential area of interest is to research, develop, and test a heavy rare earth mineral free advanced motor and inverter drive system that costs ≤$7/kW capable of improved performance when compared to a current baseline system and utilizes recycled materials to the maximum extent possible.

  • Utility-managed smart charging. The objective of this area of interest is to research, develop, and conduct a wide-scale demonstration of Smart Charge Management (SCM) systems that will enable cost-effective large scale charging through smart charging, including potential grid services from plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) that provide benefit to electricity grid operators, energy services providers, charging network operators, and PEV owners.

    Proposed projects should include SCM technology R&D, including cybersecurity, and culminate with a SCM system wide demonstration that includes a significant number of PEVs.

  • Platinum group metals content reduction to enable cost-effective aftertreatment for gasoline and diesel engines. The objective of this potential area of interest is to research, develop, and validate technologies for reduction and/or substitution of platinum, palladium and rhodium content in three-way catalytic converters used to control hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen emissions from stoichiometric gasoline and natural gas engines, and oxidation catalysts for lean-burn aftertreatment systems.

  • Improved efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty natural gas and propane (LPG) engines. The objective of this potential area of interest is to research, develop, and validate engine enabling technologies that can deliver near diesel efficiencies in natural gas or LPG engines, while meeting future emission levels.

    Technologies of interest include, but are not limited to, the following: advanced ignition systems, improved fuel injectors, systems enabling lean-burn and multi-mode SI/advanced compression ignition combustion, novel technologies enabling low temperature combustion, advanced sensors and controls, application of thermal barrier coatings to improve efficiency, improvements to catalyst manufacturing which improve utilization of platinum group metals (PGMs) or technologies to reduce the need for PGMs in three-way catalysts, low temperature methane oxidation, and lean-NOx emission control.

  • Energy-efficient off-road technologies directly applicable to agriculture sector and/or other off-road vehicles. The objective of this potential area of interest is to research, develop, and validate technologies capable of increasing work specific energy efficiency of commercial off- road vehicles that are directly applicable to the agricultural sector and/or other commercial off-road vehicles (e.g. construction, mining, forestry, etc.). Technologies of interest include, but are not limited to, advanced combustion and emission control research, thermal management (coatings, waste energy recovery, frictions reduction and lubricants), efficient fluid power, new system architectures, energy recovery, electrification and hybridization, and connectivity and automation of vehicles and/or work implements that demonstrate greater energy efficiency.

  • Lightweight and high-performance fiber-reinforced polymer composites for vehicle applications. This topic seeks applications from multi-discipline R&D teams focused on significantly reducing the cost and weight of selected structural and non-structural vehicle components through the development and application of novel polymer composite materials, composites preforms and intermediates, innovative processing technologies and manufacturing techniques.

  • Energy-efficient mobility systems. This area of interest includes three potential topics supporting VTO’s objective to improve system-level transportation efficiency, effectiveness and affordability. The three are: improving transportation system efficiency through better utilization; enabling vehicle and infrastructure connectivity; and improving mobility, affordability, and energy efficiency through transit.

  • Technology integration. This area of interest includes four topics: gaseous fuels (H2, NG, RNG, and LPG) technology demonstration projects; alternative fuel proof-of-concept in new communities and fleets; electric vehicle and charging community partner projects; and an open topic.

  • Transportation and energy analysis. This topic will focus on novel analytical methods and illustrative applications that identify future transportation technology energy opportunities.

DOE plans to issue the FOA in January/February 2020.

The Vehicle Technologies’ portfolio includes advanced batteries, electric drive systems; smart charging technologies; energy efficient mobility technologies and systems; advanced combustion engines and fuels; materials for vehicle light-weighting; technology integration, which includes work with the national network of Clean Cities coalitions; and transportation and energy analysis.

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