President Obama on March 7 launched DOE's EV-Everywhere Challenge, allowing scientists, engineers, and businesses to collaborate to make electric vehicles (EV) more affordable than gasoline-powered vehicles in 10 years. The challenge is part of a strategy to help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The DOE initiative, which will bring together DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program, its Office of Science, and its Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E), will aim to make electric vehicles affordable. The team will target dramatic technological and cost improvements in batteries, electric motors, power electronics, lightweight structures, and fast-charging technology. The goal is to enable U.S. companies to be the first to produce a 5-passenger affordable EV with a payback time of fewer than 5 years.
The challenge will involve working with industry, universities, national laboratories, and government partners to set technical goals for cutting costs for the batteries and electric drivetrain systems, reducing the vehicle weights while maintaining safety, and increasing fast-charge rates. As part of the initiative, DOE will organize a series of EV-Everywhere Challenge workshops across the country over the next few months. And, DOE will announce over the next few months a series of additional "Grand Challenges," each focused on technical innovations and reductions in cost that will enable clean energy technologies to compete directly, without subsidies, with the energy technologies currently in wide use. See the DOE press release