Advanced materials, including metals, polymers, composites, and intermetallic compounds, can play an important role in improving the efficiency of transportation engines and vehicles. Weight reduction is one of the most practical ways to increase the fuel economy of vehicles while reducing exhaust emissions.
The use of lightweight, high-performance materials will contribute to the development of vehicles that provide better fuel economy, yet are comparable in size, comfort, and safety to today’s vehicles. The development of propulsion materials and enabling technologies will help reduce costs while improving the durability, efficiency, and performance of advanced internal combustion, diesel, hybrid, and fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
The advanced materials research conducted under the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy and the FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies Program will help ensure the nation’s transportation energy and environmental future by making affordable full-function cars and trucks that use less oil and produce fewer harmful emissions.
The materials technologies team works with its industrial partners in the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership and the 21st Century Truck Partnership to identify and select its research and development objectives. Research and development projects are conducted through a variety of contractual mechanisms, including cooperative research and development agreements, cooperative agreements, university grants, subcontracts, and in-house research at national laboratories. Other research partners in these efforts include vehicle and engine manufacturers, universities, material suppliers, and nonprofit technology organizations.