December 3, 2008

DOE funds alternative vehicle technology

The U.S. Department of Energy says it has selected six cost-shared research projects for the development and demonstration of alternative vehicle technologies.

Officials said the department will provide as much as $14.5 million in funding in the next three years, with private sector contributions expected to increase the investment to $29.3 million.

The projects include improving battery performance, developing advanced negative electrode materials, developing solid state thermoelectric devices to heat and cool a vehicle's passenger compartment, creation of advanced aerodynamic trailers that can significantly reduce fuel consumption of heavy-duty tractor trailers and technology that can reduce fuel consumption of a heavy vehicle by at least 15 percent.

The selections announced today are part of (the department's) continuing work to develop high efficiency vehicle technologies and are not part of the recently announced $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, officials said.

The companies selected to receive funding under the new program are the 3M Co. of St. Paul, Minn.; BASF Catalyst LLC of Iselin, N.J., and Elyria, Ohio; the FMC Corp. if Charlotte, N.C.; the Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich.; the General Motors Corp. of Warren, Mich.; and the Navistar International Corp. of Fort Wayne, Ind.