Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- February 19, 2013 - The EV Everywhere Grand Challenge was introduced in the United States by President Obama in March 2012 with the goal to become the first nation in the world to produce affordable plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) within the next 10 years – and now the Department of Energy has produced a blueprint to guide its investments in this Challenge.

The vision is that by 2022 the levelized cost, i.e. the purchase and operating costs,of an all-electric vehicle with a 280-mile range will be comparable to that of an internal combustion engine (ICE)vehicle of similar size. And realizing PEVs that meet or exceed the performance of ICE vehicles on the basis of cost, convenience, and consumer satisfaction will require the combined efforts of technological push (R&D), operational enablers (charging infrastructure), and market pull (consumer adoption and incentives).

According to the blueprint, the technical targets for the DOE PEV program fall into four areas: battery R&D, electric drive system R&D, vehicle lightweighting, and advanced climate control technologies.

Noting that current battery technology is very far from its theoretical energy density limit, the blueprint says that in the near-term (2012-2017), with advances in lithium-ion technology, there is an opportunity to more than double the battery pack energy density from 100 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg through the use of new highcapacity cathode materials, higher voltage electrolytes, and the use of high capacity silicon or tin-based intermetallic alloys to replace graphite anodes.In the longer term (2017-2027), “beyond Li-ion” battery chemistries, such as lithium-sulfur, magnesium-ion, zinc-air, and lithium-air, may also meet the challenge.

In the area of electric drive systems, the blueprint calls for more fully integrated motors and electronics, and a focus on concepts that reduce or eliminate rare earth materials.

Vehicle lightweighting will occur through the development of advanced alloys and materials and techniques to join combinations of these materials in a cost effective manner.

Key goals include:

  • Cutting battery costs from their current $500/kWh to $125/kWh
  • Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from $30/kW to $8/kW
  • Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through lightweighting, with target reductions of 35% in bodyweight, 25% in the chassis and suspension, and 5% in the interior.

These numbers, which were established in consultation with stakeholders across the industry, represent difficult to reach “stretch goals,” the blueprint states