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  (Source: sierraclub.org)
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

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 awarded, Michigan companies, including Detroit's Big Three automakers, accounted for $45 million.

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.

Ford 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. 

Chrysler 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 future."

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.





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