DOE to Offer $17 Million for Plug-In Hybrid and E85 Research

January 23, 2007

DOE announced on January 23rd that it will issue $17 million in solicitations to support technologies to improve vehicle efficiency and use of E85 fuel. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that is used in flexible fuel vehicles. Two separate cost-shared solicitations will be offered by DOE's FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program.

The first solicitation for $14 million aims to improve the performance of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries so that PHEVs can drive 40 miles—the average daily roundtrip distance of commuters—running only on electricity. The second, $3 million solicitation will support projects to improve the engine efficiency and reduce the emissions of flex-fuel vehicles that use E85 fuel. The solicitations are subject to Congressional appropriations. See the DOE press release.