The US Department of Energy injects $131 million into EV technology

  • $131 million approved for US EV projects targeting cost reduction and supply chain resilience.
  • 27 projects focus on lithium-sulfur batteries, public transit efficiency, and on-board charging systems.
  • An additional $60 million invests in US Advanced Battery Consortium for pre-competitive EV battery R&D.

Domestic US battery supply chain looks hopeful as Department of Energy injects $131 million

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is injecting over $131 million into projects aimed at advancing electric vehicle (EV) technology. The move underscores a commitment to driving down EV costs, extending driving ranges, and shoring up a robust domestic battery supply chain.

The DOE has given the green light to 27 projects, with a total funding of $71 million. Facilitated through DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), these projects will address critical challenges in the EV sector. Supply chain bottlenecks for EV batteries are in the crosshairs. The projects also aim to enhance the drive range of EVs. A key focus is the development of long life-cycle, high-energy density lithium-sulfur batteries. This signals a potential shift in the landscape of EV power sources.

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Public transportation is a notable inclusion in this initiative. The projects seek to improve the efficiency and accessibility of public transit by exploring system-level approaches to equitable mobility access.

The spotlight also falls on on-board EV charging systems.

Research and demonstrations targeted at innovative bi-directional charging systems. Additionally, there’s a concerted effort to increase EV drive range through the development of sustainable lightweight materials. These developments will impact components such as door panels and EV battery enclosures.

In a separate move, the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) in Southfield, Michigan, will receive a substantial $60 million for pre-competitive, vehicle-related advanced battery research and development. The consortium’s mandate includes addressing critical priorities for the upcoming phase of widespread EV commercialization.

The consortium’s agenda involves extensive research and development for EV batteries, with a focus on enhancing performance and incorporating earth-abundant, domestically available battery materials. This encompasses batteries for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, along with efforts towards more cost-efficient battery recycling processes.

To ensure equitable distribution of the benefits of cleaner transportation, all funding applicants were required to submit a community benefits plan. This aligns with President Biden’s broader agenda of Investing in America, emphasising the security of the domestic battery supply chain and steering towards a cleaner energy future.

This substantial investment will provide a huge boost for a critical region in the global EV transition. If the US can organise a successful domestic supply chain, and extend EV infrastructure to meet drivers’ needs, emobility will hit one of the largest automotive markets in the world with force.

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