The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a $96 million funding opportunity to support decarbonizing the U.S. transportation sector.
The funding will focus on expanding access to electric vehicle charging stations, creating cleaner non-road vehicles through electrification and the use of alternative fuels, and developing electric drive components and materials to maximize electric vehicle efficiency and affordability.
Non-road vehicles, including agricultural and construction equipment, rail, marine and aviation, are a major source of pollution, emitting more carbon pollution than any other sector of the economy, the DOE said.
While decarbonizing on-road vehicles is critical to fighting climate change, it is equally important to research, develop, and deploy clean engines and fuel technologies for non-road vehicles, the DOE said in the funding announcement. The federal agency said the new funding opportunity aims to support research on non-road engine technologies that are less harmful to the environment and develop electric, natural gas, and other alternatives for fueling and powering non-road engines.
DOE’s funding for on-road electric vehicles is aimed at helping to support President Biden’s call for electric vehicles to make up half of all automotive sales by 2030 by ensuring that the nation’s charging infrastructure is prepared to meet increased demand.
The new $96 million opportunity complements the $5 billion made available under the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to build out a national electric vehicle charging network.
The DOE also said it is committed to developing solutions in underserved areas and for drivers who do not have access to charging at home and would invest in projects that create regional refueling infrastructure plans for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles powered by electricity and hydrogen fuel.
The DOE is also seeking to fund projects to develop novel multi-functional materials for electric vehicles and improve powertrain performance in electric vehicles for increased functionality and reliability.
New materials and advanced electric drive systems are key to developing next-generation electrified vehicle platforms, including full battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles with smaller, more affordable electric systems for improved performance and durability, the DOE said.
Applicants for the new funding opportunity must submit a concept paper by Aug. 25 and register and submit application materials through the DOE online application portal by Nov. 10.