Department of Energy

The Future is Now for Advanced Vehicles

January 23, 2015

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The future is on display at the Washington Auto Show and on a road near you. Advanced vehicles featuring hydrogen fuel cells, innovative rechargeable batteries and cutting edge materials not only show promise for tomorrow -- they’re available today.

Swipe through the slideshow above to see some of the vehicles and new technologies on display.

A future where more efficient and more powerful vehicles are the norm requires advances in technology, infrastructure and manufacturing. The Department of Energy is investing in all three. Here’s some progress so far:

Technology

  • Research funded by the Department has helped to dramatically reduce the cost of rechargeable batteries by 40 percent in just three years, resulting in big increases in electric vehicle sales.
  • Investments in automotive fuel cells since 2008 have resulted in a 30 percent cost reduction, making possible the first ever fuel cell vehicle on the market. 

Infrastructure

  • For electric vehicles, convenient charging stations are as important as gas stations for conventional cars. That’s why our Workplace Charging Challenge aims to achieve a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. employers offering chargers at work by 2018.
  • So far 165 companies have joined the challenge, resulting in 400,000 gallons of fuel savings.

Manufacturing

  • Factories that used to produce SUVs are now producing  more efficient vehicles thanks to upgrades made possible by our Loans Program.
  • Advanced composites supported by the Department are revolutionizing the way we build cars, making them lighter, stronger and cheaper.

To continue moving forward, Secretary Moniz announced yesterday more than $55 million for the development of fuel-efficient electric vehicle technologies.

With continued investment, the barriers to widespread adoption of advanced vehicles will continue to fall. That’s good for your wallet, good for the economy and good for the environment.