The projects focus on five major areas including advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials, advanced batteries, power electronics, fuels and lubricants, and efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

US energy secretary Ernest Moniz said, "By partnering with universities, private industry and our national labs, the DOE is helping to build a strong 21st century transportation sector that cuts harmful pollution, creates jobs and leads to a more sustainable energy future.

"By improving the fuel economy of our cars and trucks, we can save families and businesses money at the pump and better protect our air and water." Moniz added.

Through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance between the DOE and the US Department of the Army, the army is providing an additional $3m in co-funding to support the projects.

U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center director Paul Rogers said, "Working with the DOE, we are accelerating the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies to strengthen our military, economy, and energy security."

Of the 38 projects, 15 projects worth $10.2m will focus on advanced lightweighting and propulsion materials. The projects will conduct research on lightweight materials including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium and aluminium.

And 13 projects, worth $22.5m, will focus on advanced batteries. They will help to improve cell chemistry and composition, develop advanced electrolytes and create new battery design tools.

Four projects valued at $8m will focus on power electronics. The projects will help to reduce the cost of an electric vehicle inverter by over 30%.

Two projects worth $4m will focus on advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. The projects will develop new heating and cooling technologies.

Four projects valued at $2.5m will focus on fuels and lubricants. The projects will develop advanced fuels and lubricants that can reduce friction losses and increase the efficiency of cars already on the market and next generation passenger vehicles.