The Department of Energy on Monday announced up to $15 million for research projects on batteries and vehicle electrification technologies to enable extreme fast charging.
The DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) is seeking research projects to develop plug-in electric vehicle systems that can decrease charge time to 15 minutes or less.
- A VTO funded report, also released on Monday, identifies technical gaps to implementing an extreme fast charging network in the United States.
The growth of electric vehicles is both a challenge and a boon for utilities. EV growth could be a remedy for flat load growth, and increasing grid flexibility. Some utilities, such as San Diego Gas & Electric, also see it as a key element in their greenhouse gas reduction strategies.
One of the enablers of EV growth is the proliferation and efficiency of charging stations. The lack of fast charging in particular presents a hurdle to wider consumer acceptance. The DOE’s funding initiative seeks to find solutions to that problem.
The research initiative has two prongs: It will seek technologies that can enable extreme fast charging, and it will also will fund electrification projects that support the development and verification of electric drive systems and infrastructure for extreme fast charging.
VTO says it is building on the success of its development of lithium ion technology with the potential to reduce battery pack cost to $219/kWh of usable energy, about an 80% reduction since 2008.
The report identifying gaps to implementing an extreme fast charging network was the result of collaborative efforts of researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.