DOE - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Regulation  -  September 5, 2017

DOE offers $13M for 'energy efficient mobility systems'

The U.S. DOE recently announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen and electricity.

The department said in an Aug. 22 news release that the Vehicle Technologies Office funding is an investment in "highly innovative, highly leveraged and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation's energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness."

The DOE said a series of projects will serve as "living labs" to test new ideas, collect data and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems. They include: 

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) will receive $2 million to evaluate changes in freight demand patterns that reduce energy use, incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into freight logistics, and publish lessons learned.
  • Pecan Street Inc. (Austin, Texas) will receive $1 million to pilot "last mile" electric bus services. The project includes a feasibility assessment of new technologies such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles and dynamic app-driven re-routing.
  • City of Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle, Washington) will receive $1.9 million to accelerate the use of EVs in shared mobility applications in four major U.S. markets and establish best practices for all U.S. metro regions.

Additionally, two alternative fuel community partner projects across the Southeast and Midwest regions will bring together more 20 diverse partners including communities, businesses, fleets and Clean Cities coalitions, according to the release. Those are: 

  • Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia) and its partners will receive $4.6 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure throughout the southeastern United States.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) and its partners will receive $3.8 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as supporting infrastructure, through community-based partnerships throughout Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.
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