“By developing the next generation of automotive engineers and preparing communities for plug-in electric vehicles, these projects will help reduce our nation’s dependence on oil imports, create jobs, and help America capture the growing global market for advanced vehicles,” said Secretary Chu.
Projects to support community planning for plug-in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure will receive $8.5 million through DOE’s Clean Cities initiative to facilitate local public-private partnerships that will develop EV deployment strategies. The funding recipients range from communities with extensive EV planning experience to those that are eager to begin, but have not previously had the resources to do so. These one-year projects will help communities address their specific needs, which include updating permitting processes, revising codes, training municipal personnel, promoting public awareness, or developing incentives, and each will create a plan that will be publicly available so that other stakeholders can learn best practices.
DOE’s Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) initiative will award $6.4 million over the course of five years to support seven Centers of Excellence at American colleges, universities, and university-affiliated research institutions. The awardees will focus on three critical automotive technology areas: hybrid propulsion, energy storage, and lightweight materials. By funding curriculum development and expansion as well as laboratory work, GATE allows higher education institutions to develop multidisciplinary training. As a result, GATE promotes the development of a skilled workforce of engineering professionals who will overcome technical barriers and help commercialize the next generation of advanced automotive technologies.
DOE announced the availability of funding for these projects in February and April 2011. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Visit EERE’s Clean Cities and GATE websites for more information on the work being done under these initiatives to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. In addition to EV infrastructure planning, Clean Cities supports a broad portfolio of technologies, including alternative and renewable fuels, fuel economy measures, idle reduction technologies, and emerging technologies. Since its inception in 1993, Clean Cities and its stakeholders have decreased the equivalent use of more than three billion gallons of gasoline.