The U.S. Energy Department last week announced $45 million in grants for advanced vehicle technologies that meet three goals: Improved fuel efficiency, lower transportation costs and protection of the environment.
Thirty-eight projects span five areas: lightweighting and propulsion materials; advanced batteries; power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; and fuels and lubricants. The lightweighting projects, for instance, will conduct research on lightweight materials such as advanced high-strength steel, magnesium and aluminum that allow automakers to include electric drive components, electronic systems and emissions control equipment without increasing vehicle weight. The research on advanced batteries is designed to further reduce battery costs. The projects aim to cut battery size and weight in half while improving efficiency and performance.
The remaining projects touch on other aspects of electric vehicles.