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FreedomCAR Plan, Requirements, and Technology Needs
Keywords: DOE FreedomCAR, hybrid vehicles, high temperature
America’s energy security is dependent largely on the efficiency and fuel choices made for the transportation sector. The transportation sector, in turn, has a significant influence on the nation’s economic and environmental well being. Our highway vehicles use more petroleum products than our country produces domestically. Domestic oil production has been steadily declining for over two decades and oil imports are expected to reach 70% by 2025. Not only is the US demand for oil growing but the global demand in both industrialized and developing countries is increasing rapidly, especially in countries such as China and India where the growth in motor vehicles is far outpacing that of the US. To meet these challenges the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT), in conjunction with its industry partner (USCAR) is leading the effort to develop the technologies that improve vehicle efficiency in the interim and simultaneously facilitate the transition ultimately to hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. As part of this effort Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on new technologies to promote hybrid, plug in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Improvements in power electronics and motor technologies are key to the marketplace acceptance of these advanced vehicles. Work is ongoing to develop innovative topologies which incorporate the reliability and ruggedness necessary for operation in harsh environments all the while resulting in reductions in size, weight, volume and cost. Current tasks involving electric machines and power electronics include work on two phase cooling techniques, novel die attach concepts, topologies integrating module functionalities, new packaging mechanisms, advanced thermal management systems, development of advanced materials, and motor designs to reduce size, cost and achieve greater efficiency while reducing battery and transmission requirements.
Laura D. Marlino, Technical Manager for Power Electronics and Electric Machinery
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Knoxville, Tn

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