DOE offers $59 million for advanced vehicle technologies research

By Erin Voegele | April 05, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a $59 million funding opportunity that aims to accelerate advanced vehicle technologies research. Clean Cities coalition-led alternative fuels projects are eligible to apply for a portion of that funding.

According to the DOE, the funding opportunity seeks projects to address priorities in advanced batteries and electric drive systems, energy efficient mobility systems, materials for more efficient powertrains, co-optimized advanced engine and fuel technologies, and alternative fuels and new mobility options.

“Every day, American consumers and businesses rely on transportation for jobs, schools, and commerce,” said U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Through this funding opportunity, we are looking to partner with the best and brightest minds across the country to drive early-stage R&D for vehicle technologies forward, so that all Americans can access more affordable, secure, and reliable transportation.”

There are six main topic areas under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), including:

Topic 1: Solid state batteries—materials, diagnostic tools and modeling (up to $12.5 million)
Topic 2:
Electric motor research increasing power density 8x (up to $3.5 million)
Topic 3: Energy efficient mobility systems research (up to $7 million)
Topic 4: Predictive modeling capabilities for the co-optimization of fuels and multi-mode engines ($3.5 million)
Topic 5: New materials and engine technologies for high efficient powertrains (up to $15 m million)
Topic 6: Technology integration (up to $17.5 million)

Under topic 6, technology integration, there is an open subtopic specific to Clean Cities coalitions seeking innovative ideas for alternative fuel and mobility solutions. According to the DOE, this area of interest (AOI) provides Clean Cities coalitions the opportunity to explore novel solutions to transportation and energy challenges that have not been addressed by the other AOIs in the FOA. This includes challenges unique to their geographic areas and solutions with potential for replication in other areas across the country.

Within the FOA, the DOE said the AOI specifically seeks new and innovative approaches from Clean Cities coalitions and partners to improve domestic energy security through fuel diversity, increased transportation efficiency and improved transportation affordability by accelerating or enabling widespread access to affordable alternative fuels, such as E85, B20 or higher blends of biodiesel, electricity, natural gas, propane or hydrogen. Projects of interests include specialized applications or end-user groups that may currently be underserved by integration challenges and barriers unique to the geographic areas that Clean Cities coalitions serve. The DOE said projects that focus on affordable, energy efficient mobility are also of interest.

According to the FOA, the DOE will award up to $2 million to support the open topic area specific to Clean Cities coalitions, with individual awards expected to range between $330,000 and $670,000.

The FOA was issued April 3. Concept papers must be submitted by May 1, with full applications due June 19. Awards are expected to be made this fall. Additional information, including a full copy of the FOA, is available on the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy exchange website under DE-FOA-0002014.