Department of Energy supports 38 transportation technology projects

Projects include battery, body material, welding and lubricant technologies.


The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced it will spend more than $45 million for 38 new projects that will research and develop vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency, lower transportation costs and protect the environment, according to the Automotive Service Association.

According to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz:

“By partnering with universities, private industry and our national labs, the Energy Department 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.”

The recently announced 38 projects range from five major areas that are essential to advanced transportation technologies, such as lightweight and propulsion materials as well as affordable, efficient batteries, power electronics, fuels and lubricants, and efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Some of the projects include the following:

• Body-in-white Joining of Aluminum to Advanced High Strength Steel at Prototype Scale: A project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that will develop and validate solid-state spot joining technology to join body-in-white high strength steel and aluminum.

• Breakthrough Techniques for Dissimilar Material Joining: A project at Johns Hopkins University that will develop heat-generating foils to provide strong and stable bonds between aluminum alloys, magnesium alloys and steels.

• Breakthrough Techniques for Dissimilar Material Joining: A project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that will demonstrate laser-assisted joining of aluminum and carbon fiber components to reduce vehicle weight.

• Breakthrough Techniques for Dissimilar Material Joining: A project at The Ohio State University that will develop and demonstrate vapor-assisted collision welding of dissimilar metals.

• Breakthrough Techniques for Dissimilar Material Joining: A project at Michigan State University, Composite Vehicle Research Center, that will demonstrate the bonding, reparability and reassembly of dissimilar materials using thermoplastic adhesives.

• Applied Battery Research for Improvements in Cell Chemistry, Composition and Processing: A project at the Pennsylvania State University to develop high-energy, long cycle life lithium-ion batteries for plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) applications consisting of a micro-sized porous silicon alloy-carbon composite anode coupled with a high performance Ni-rich layered oxide cathode coated with an ultra-stable LiFeP04 coating.

• Lubricant Formulations to Enhance Fuel Efficiency: A project at Northwestern University that will develop novel lubricant formulations with the potential to improve the fuel efficiency of light and medium vehicles by at least 2 percent.

 • Lubricant Formulations to Enhance Fuel Efficiency: A project at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that will develop and test novel molecules in base oils that may substantially improve fuel efficiency without increasing wear.

• Lubricant Formulations to Enhance Fuel Efficiency: A project at the Halla Visteon Climate Control USA LLC that will develop, integrate and demonstrate an efficient heating and cooling (heat pump) system as well as other novel solutions to achieve and maintain passenger comfort using less battery power.

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