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DOE recharges electric vehicle support

White House, DOE encourage businesses and scientists to concentrate on creating cost-effective advanced technologies that can make a 5-passenger EV a better value proposition by 2022.
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Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

It appears that the Obama administration has noticed that the electric vehicle movement isn't exactly accelerating at the speed many had hoped or expected. That must be the impetus behind a new program this week from the Department of Energy called EV-Everywhere.

The program, which was unveiled during President Obama's visit this week to a truck factory in North Carolina, will focus on "advancing electric vehicle technologies and continuing to reduce costs." There is a noticeable lack of comment around monetary support toward that goal, which just wouldn't fly in the current political climate. What the "Grand Challenge" program proposes to do, instead, is rally scientists, engineers and businesses to work together toward this end.

According to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the end game is to ensure that "a decade from now, electric vehicles will be more affordable and convenient to own than today's gasoline-powered vehicles."

The specific goal is focused on producing a "five-passenger, affordable American electric vehicle" that offers a payback period of less than five years and that addresses ongoing range anxiety over how far vehicles can travel on a battery charge.

The technologies that should be affected by this initiative include batteries, electric motors, power electronics, structural design components, and fast-charging technology.

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