United States - Research

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Advanced automotive batteries are a key technology for EDVs. DOE supports a broad portfolio of EDV battery R&D that spans basic research to applied development. DOE-managed battery research programs are run by three main offices:

  • Office of Science
  • Applied Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E)
  • Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP)

Enabling technologies for EDVs include advanced energy storage technologies, vehicle systems, lightweight materials, advanced power electronics, and fuel cells, which are individually discussed below. Additional information related to any of those technologies can be obtained from VTPs’ latest Annual Progress Reports.

Summary of U.S. DOE R&D programs supporting PHEVs and EVs.


Research relating to PHEVs, EVs, and fuel cell vehicles

Office of Science

Fundamental basic energy research on enabling materials for batteries through the Energy Frontiers Research Centers

Applied Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)

Transformational research on revolutionary, “game-changing” energy storage technologies. EDV-related projects include metal-air, lithium sulfur, magnesium ion, advanced lithium-ion, and solid state batteries, as well as ultracapacitors.

Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP) Advanced Energy Storage Technologies research programs

Research portfolio is focused on battery module development and demonstration of advanced batteries to enable a large market penetration of EDVs within 5 to 10 years

  • Participating national labs: Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Government-industry partnerships: U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), working with Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler, and several companies in the battery supply chain

Other VTP research programs

VTP also manages research programs in other technologies that are relevant to EDVs. These include:

  • Vehicle systems research is focused on improving the way various new components and systems affect fuel efficiency. Work also aims to reduce parasitic losses.
  • Lightweight materials R&D aims to significantly reduce automotive vehicle body and chassis weight without compromising other attributes such as manufacturability, cost, and safety. Priority lightweight materials include aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and carbon fiber composites.
  • Advanced power electronics and electrical motors (APEEM) research develops power electronics, electric motors/generators, and thermal control of inverters and motors with advanced cooling technologies, among other topics.