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July 24, 2020

DOE unveils US$139m in technology funding

US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette has announced US$139m in Federal funding for 55 projects across the country, which will support new and advanced vehicle technologies.

By Rhodri Morgan

US Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette has announced US$139m in Federal funding for 55 projects across the country, which will support new and advanced vehicle technologies.

Six of these projects will be led by teams in Michigan.

“Technological innovation is key to revitalising America’s manufacturing competitiveness, especially in the transportation sector,” said Secretary Brouillette. “I’m excited to announce six of the 55 total projects will be led by teams here in Michigan, a State that has been the backbone of the American automobile industry for years.

“The Trump Administration is committed to investing in technologies that expand access to affordable mobility and provide consumers with a wide range of transportation options to meet their needs.”

Funded through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), projects will conduct research in advanced batteries, electrification, and manufacturing in support of DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

Announced by Secretary Brouillette in January, 2020, the Energy Storage Grand Challenge is a strategy to create and sustain US work in energy storage technology, utilisation and exports.

Among the projects announced, EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) are collaborating on two projects totalling US$15m aimed at lightweight and high-performance fibre-reinforced polymer composites for vehicle applications.

First, a Ford-led team, in collaboration with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other partners, will develop multi-functional composite structures with electronics integration for cross car beam applications.

Second, a General Motors-led team is developing fibre-reinforced composites for high volume manufacturing of structural battery enclosures. Michigan State University’s Scale Up Research Facility is partnering with both teams.

The facility was established with DOE funding through the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

Selected projects in this funding opportunity will be managed by VTO.

VTO research pathways focus on fuel diversification, vehicle efficiency, energy storage, lightweight materials and new mobility technologies, to improve the overall energy efficiency and affordability of the transportation system.

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