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Department of Energy offers $45M in funding for more efficient EV battery development

Credit: Tesla Inc.

The United States Department of Energy announced that it will offer up to $45 million in funding to support the domestic development of advanced and more efficient electric vehicle batteries. The announcement comes just one day after the Biden Administration allocated over $3.1 billion to boost EV battery manufacturing in the United States.

“Advanced batteries are the heartbeat of the electric vehicle industry and investments to make them charge faster and last longer will be critical to accelerate the deployment of electric cars and trucks,” Jennifer Granholm, the U.S. Secretary of Energy said. “The benefits of an electrified transportation sector in America will be felt for generations to come — from directly combatting climate change to growing domestic manufacturing jobs and strengthening our overall energy independence.”

The DOE will fund the projects through the launch of the Electric Vehicles for American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4All) Program, which is made possible through the department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The plan is part of President Biden’s plan to have at least half of all passenger vehicle purchases be electric in the United States by 2030.

The EVs4All program will address three of the most heavily scrutinized portions of the EV ownership experience: Charging Speed, Efficiency, and Resilience.

Faster Charging: The DOE said that while at-home charging is preferred for many EV drivers as it can offer a fully-charged vehicle every morning, there are still issues with some owners who live in rented spaces or are in other situations where home charging is not necessarily possible. Advanced batteries are capable of safe, rapid charging that can eliminate the total time spent at a public EV stall. It will not only keep times at chargers to as little as five minutes, but it will also increase cost savings during each charge.

Increased Efficiency: Electric vehicle ranges can vary based on climate. Those who live in colder weather settings will tell you firsthand that they do not get the range they expected in their EVs. Current EV batteries lose performance when confronted with these situations, with some manufacturers using things like heat pumps to combat range loss. Developing new battery chemistries that will not be affected as much by cold temperatures is “key to ensuring batteries can power vehicles in the coldest parts of the country as well as motivating broader adoption amongst drivers who live in those regions,” the DOE said.

Improving Resilience: Range anxiety is one of the most common terms in the EV ownership experience. Battery resilience is needed to alleviate concerns from new EV owners, especially those who take long drives to work or for leisure. The DOE said this may be the most important thing to develop as two-thirds of Americans prefer the more economical option of purchasing used vehicles rather than leasing or buying new cars.

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Department of Energy offers $45M in funding for more efficient EV battery development
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