The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing
$175 million in grants to 40 projects that include advanced
technology vehicles over the next five years, and about $45 million is being awarded
to Michigan companies.
Out of 400 applicants in 15 U.S. states, 40
projects were chosen. Projects chosen involved technologically advanced
vehicles in the way of efficiency, materials, etc. Of the total $175 million
companies, including Detroit's Big Three automakers, accounted for $45
General Motors Co. won $14 million total for
projects located in Warren and Pontiac, Michigan. Of the $14 million, $8
million was to create a thermoelectric generator system that converts waste
heat to electric power at the Warren Tech Center, and the other $6 million was
for the future development of high performance, low-cost inverter switching and
power module technologies.
Motor Co. won $2.7 million total, where $1.5 million was for the
research of fuel properties that can enable new combustion strategies with low
emissions in engines while the other $1.2 million was for the research of
polyalkylene glycol-based engine oil technology to reduce engine friction.
Group LLC won $10 million total for the future development of a
cost-effective multi-material vehicle, where the overall weight of the vehicle
is reduced by 50 percent.
Michigan companies other than the Big
Three automakers to receive grants from DOE include Denso International's
U.S. unit in Southfield, Michigan, who won $2.6 million to develop a battery thermal
management system that reduces the battery pack size for battery electric
vehicles; Vehma International in Troy, who won $10 million for the future
development of a new passenger vehicle design that reduces vehicle weight by 50
percent, and the U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership in Southfield, who won
$6.5 million to demonstrate crash models for carbon-fiber composites and to
test an "integrated magnesium automotive assembly" for the reduction
of vehicle weight by 45 percent over steel structures.
"The Department of Energy is investing in new
advanced technologies that will significantly improve vehicle fuel economy,
save customers money and create skilled jobs for Americans," said Stephen
Chu, energy secretary. "Investments in the next generation of autos will
strengthen our economy and lead to a more fuel-efficient, clean energy
The companies who have been awarded the grants
must match the Energy Department's offerings with funds. They must pay about 40
percent of the total, which will be about $300 million in investments total.