With their immense potential for increasing the country's energy security, economic vitality, and quality of life, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) – including plug-in hybrid electric and all-electric vehicles – will play a key role in the country's transportation future.

The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports a variety of work to lower the cost and increase the convenience of PEVs. VTO is collaborating with national laboratories and industry to improve batteries and electric drive systems.

To maximize these technologies’ effectiveness, researchers use simulation and modeling software to create virtual vehicles based on data collected from vehicles on the road and in the laboratory through the Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)

VTO also works with national laboratories and key stakeholders to advance the development and use of PEV charging infrastructure. Three broad principles guide VTO efforts in this area and are intended to support communities, companies, and others as they plan for future PEV charging availability.

The office closely coordinates with other Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, state and local governments, industry partners, and other key stakeholders to serve current and future PEV drivers across America:

VTO partners with a number of organizations and companies to train the American workforce to develop, build, repair, and respond to incidents with these vehicles.  VTO has sponsored student competitions in advanced vehicles for more than 25 years, with the latest focusing on transforming a conventional Chevrolet Camaro into a PEV without compromising performance, safety, or consumer acceptability.

VTO's Batteries, Charging, and Electric Vehicles program aims to research new battery chemistry and cell technologies that can:

  • Reduce the cost of electric vehicle batteries to less than $100/kWh—ultimately $80/kWh
  • Increase range of electric vehicles to 300 miles
  • Decrease charge time to 15 minutes or less.