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DOE awards $2.5M for R&D projects to accelerate advancements in lightweighting of passenger vehicles

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) has selected five industry-led research and development projects to address key technical challenges associated with the application of lightweight materials to improve the energy efficiency of electric vehicles. These projects will help decarbonize the transportation sector and enhance the infrastructure needed to support the growing adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

The award recipients will partner with a member of the Lightweight Materials Consortium, or LightMAT, to accelerate solutions to the nation’s toughest materials challenges in the energy sector. LightMAT comprises a network of 11 national laboratories with technical capabilities highly relevant to the development and commercial use of lightweight materials and manufacturing processes.

Selected projects will receive up to $500,000 of LightMAT technical assistance from the partnering national laboratory, over a maximum project duration of 2 years.

2022 LightMAT Direct Funding Assistance awards selections:

Industry Partner DOE Laboratory Project Title
General Motors Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Atmospheric Plasma Deposition for Adhesive Bonding of Multi-Material Systems
General Motors Oak Ridge National Laboratory A Machine Learning Assisted Weld Quality Diagnostic Tool to Assure Structural Integrity of EV Battery Enclosure
General Motors Oak Ridge National Laboratory Development of Sustainable Aluminum Alloy for Lightweight Ultralarge Castings
Vehma International Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Direct Extrusion of 6082 and 7xxx Battery Tray Structures Using Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPE™)
Dow Aksa Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Wholly Sustainable, Cost-Effective Carbon Fiber-Nylon Compounds

LightMAT is managed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in partnership with other national laboratories, and is funded by VTO.


Albert E Short

In the late 80's, cavernous cars like the Delta 88 and Ford Taurus weighed 3075 and 2800 pounds respectively despite large 6 cylinder engines and heavy transaxle AT's. All the car makers would prefer to keep their existing chassis and coachwork plants, but I'd love to see someone go for a clean sheet light weight design based on the RMI Hypercar work. I'd figure the V6/AT gives you at least a 700 lb budget to work with.

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