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DOE to Support Four Vehicle Energy Consumption Mitigation Projects

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The Department of Energy (DOE) will award $18 million in funds through the second phase of the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles program to four projects that aim to lower automobile emissions.

Michigan Technical University will work to grow its test vehicle fleet and identify opportunities for range optimization while Southwest Research Institute will expand and implement hybrid power control, eco-driving and routing approaches into vehicles with level 4 automation capabilities, DOE said Thursday.

Ohio State University will incorporate system-level control and optimization tools into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in a bid to increase energy efficiency by 30 percent. The University of California Berkeley will focus on expanding its set of eco-drive, route and charge controls.

DOE initially awarded $32 million in funds to 10 teams during the first phase of NEXTCAR. The current group of awardees will receive additional funds at an undisclosed date to hold demonstration activities.

Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy launched the NEXTCAR effort to mitigate automobile energy consumption via the development of connected and automated vehicles.

The first phase of the program sought to build CAV technologies that could lower vehicle energy usage by 20 percent. Phase II seeks to decrease light-duty passenger vehicles' consumption by 30 percent.