Transportation is a critical part of almost every person’s daily life. We rely on transportation to get us to our jobs, to get family to school, to get the food we eat from farms across the country to local stores, and to supply the businesses that drive our economy. It is easy to take it for granted. But when there are even small hiccups in our complex transportation system, they are felt quickly. Today, transportation is the second highest expense for an American household, after housing itself, and requires almost 30% of all the energy we use as a country.
This complex system is undergoing fundamental changes that are already being experienced by consumers, businesses, and those that have long provided the cars, trucks and transit services we use. We have many new choices from electric cars to e-scooters to ride-hailing services. In the future, we will likely have a range of automated and connected vehicle technologies as well.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Sustainable Transportation Office is focused on ensuring that as the transportation system transforms, we have affordable, clean, efficient, and domestic energy options that give families and businesses greater choice in how they meet their mobility needs. With three key sustainable transportation offices, EERE funds cutting edge research and development (R&D) at universities, National Labs, entrepreneurs, and industry that will help transform the transportation sector and improve the performance of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Committed to a comprehensive energy strategy, DOE’s transformation portfolio includes solutions from biofuels and hydrogen to autonomous vehicles and everything in between.
Our Bioenergy Technologies Office focuses on R&D to enable cost-competitive, renewable hydrocarbon fuels, bio-based products, and power from non-food biomass and waste feedstocks. Using new biological and chemical processes, this office is literally transforming waste into fuels that can power our cars, trucks, and planes.
Fuel cells efficiently convert fuel into electricity, using clean domestic resources that we can produce in abundance – including hydrogen produced from renewables power, bio-based fuels, and natural gas. Our Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies Office supports R&D to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen from these diverse domestic resources and of cutting edge fuel cell technologies for both transportation and stationary applications.
Our Vehicle Technologies Office supports R&D of advanced transportation technologies to provide lower cost and efficient advanced technology options to move people and goods across America. It is inventing the next generation of batteries and leading the charge to recycle those batteries. We are harnessing the fastest super-computers in the world and using artificial intelligence to invent all new, light-weight materials and develop engines that are more efficient than engineers ever dreamed possible.
Our transportation system is undergoing a period of dramatic change. This disruption is brought about by new technologies and business models, shared mobility, mobility-on-demand, e-commerce, connected and automated vehicles, and new fuels and powertrains. Transportation connects people and transportation connects goods and services. EERE is committed to providing consumers with efficient, effective, clean transportation options that meet all of their mobility needs.