The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide close to $55m in funding to advance fuel efficient vehicle technologies, in a bid to cut down on foreign oil and curb harmful emissions.


The funding will be shared among 24 projects to develop and deploy advanced vehicle technologies, which will increase fuel efficiency and reduce petroleum consumption.

The projects are also aimed to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles.

Of all the projects, 16 of them are aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of key PEV components, while the remaining eight are aimed at improvements including developing and demonstrating dual-fuel or dedicated natural gas engine technologies for high-efficiency medium and heavy-duty vehicles.

General Motors is one of the recipients which will receive highest amount of funding to develop an integrated wide bandgap power module for next generation plug-in vehicles, as well as developing and demonstrating the joining of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites to lightweight aluminum using friction stir scribe (FSS) technology that enables multi-material body-in-white structures for vehicles.

The Department of the Army is also offering an additional $2.26m in co-funding to support projects focused on battery modeling technologies and computational fluid dynamics, through the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the DOE.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: "Investing in advanced vehicle technologies will improve the efficiency of today’s vehicles while also supporting the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.

"The deployment of these technologies will give Americans more options when they are choosing a vehicle, while also creating jobs and cutting harmful carbon emissions."

The DOE will also invest $102m in projects that make solar energy more affordable and advance solar photovoltaic technology.

Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture awarded $100m in grants to 21 states to boost the renewable fuel infrastructure.

The investment in expansion of infrastructure will increase the supply of higher blends of ethanol such as E15 and E85 which can be used as vehicle fuels.

Image: US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Photo: courtesy of US Department of Energy / Wikipedia.