The US Department of Energy has made available about $50 million to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies that give drivers and businesses more transportation options and protect the environment.
The funding will support a wide range of technologies that further cut fuel costs for drivers and help make vehicles more efficient and durable, including lightweighting materials; cost-effective batteries and power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; and improved fuels and lubricants.
This funding also includes support for the DOE’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, a broader initiative launched in March 2012 to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) more affordable and convenient to own and drive than today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.
Last year, Americans bought nearly 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles, nearly twice as many as sold during 2012, the DOE says. According to industry estimates, the US PEV market is on track to pass the 200,000 sales milestone by spring 2014 — nearly two years before hybrid electric vehicles reached this milestone since their introduction 10 years ago.
The DOE is also working to expand access to workplace charging stations across the US through its Workplace Charging Challenge. In 2013, the first year of the challenge, more than 50 employers — including Facebook, Coca-Cola and Dell — pledged to provide PEV charging access to their workforce at more than 150 worksites.