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To help the decarbonization of the domestic transportation sector, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a funding of $96 million to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging accessibility and maximize EV efficiency and affordability.
The decarbonization drive is focused on agricultural and construction equipment, railways, marine, and aviation. These sectors emit more carbon than any other sector in the U.S. Reducing vehicle carbon emissions will also boost President Joe Biden’s goal of a net-zero economy by 2050.
DOE will fund research on non-road engine technologies that are less harmful to the environment and develop electric, natural gas, and other alternatives for fueling non-road engines.
Applicants interested in availing of the loan must pursue the guidelines listed under President’s Justice40 Initiative and show how their proposed clean projects will benefit the disadvantaged communities that still rely on conventional sources for energy consumption. Aligning with Biden’s call for EVs to make up half of all automotive sales in the U.S. by 2030, the funding will help DOE support the expansion of charging infrastructure to meet the increased demand for EVs.
The department will also allocate funds to create regional refueling infrastructure plans to help zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles powered by electricity and hydrogen. Through this investment, the DOE has extended funding of $5 billion under the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to build a national EV charging network.
The DOE will fund projects seeking the development of novel multi-functional materials for EVs and improve powertrain performance for increased functionality and reliability. Applicants for the Fiscal Year 2022 must submit a concept paper by August 25, 2022.
A Smart Electric Power Alliance report said last year that the U.S. could have up to 35 million EVs on the roads by 2030. It suggested that power utilities, network operators, and retailers manage EV charging to avoid distribution upgrade bottlenecks and reduce stress on the power grid.
The U.S. industrial sector has received ample investments from the Biden administration through the DOE in the past few months to adopt cleaner and greener ways of operation. Earlier this month, the U.S. government announced funding of $56 million accompanied by a new set of initiatives to augment innovation in solar manufacturing and recycling to make energy more cost-effective.