In light of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) recent $55 million commitment to electric vehicle research, the Greenville-based electric bus manufacturer, Proterra, believes the DOE’s investment highlights the growing importance of transitioning to a clean energy economy.
The investment will allow companies like Proterra to continue to develop superior cost-effective technologies that will reduce carbon emissions, improve fuel efficiency and reduce dependence on foreign oil, said Eric McCarthy, VP Government Relations & General Counsel at Proterra.
Although Proterra was not a direct recipient of this particular DOE funding, the federal investment will spur innovation so that US manufacturers continue to develop world-leading advanced fuel-efficient technologies, he said.
Manufacturing.net reported the DOE awarded $55 million to 24 projects devoted to electric and other fuel-efficient vehicles.
Eight of the projects will focus on natural gas engines for passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. The 16 other projects are part of the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, aimed at reducing the cost and improving the performance of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).
According to the report, there is a federal push to improve fuel efficiency and reduce petroleum consumption, while making electric cars as affordable and convenient as today’s gas-powered cars by 2022.
McCarthy said the federal government has played a major role in driving early adoption of zero-emission technology.
The DOE recently announced a grant opportunity focused exclusively on medium and heavy-duty vehicle powertrain electrification, he said. The funding announcement supports the Vehicle Technologies Office’s goals and objectives to reduce fuel consumption through research, development and deployment of vehicle electrification technologies.
Proterra employs more than 50 engineers focused on improving clean mobility solutions and developing energy storage systems