Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to US$30 million in funding over three years for three cost-shared plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) demonstrations and development projects. The projects will be led separately by Ford, General Motors and General Electric.

The projects will accelerate the development of PHEVs capable of travelling up to 40 miles (64 km) without recharging, which includes most daily round-trip commutes and satisfies 70 per cent of the average daily travel in the U.S. The projects will also address critical barriers to achieving the DOE’s goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016.

“The projects announced today demonstrate a shared public-private sector commitment to advance clean vehicle technologies and will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil while also confronting the serious challenge of global climate change,” said DOE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner. “The Department remains committed to the research, development and deployment of cleaner, more efficient vehicle options for consumers from laboratory to the street.”

The projects selected will be developed between fiscal years 2008 and 2011 and demonstrated in geographically diverse regions to identify performance, operation and fuel economy in a real-world environment. The goal is to develop PHEVs that can be mass-produced, compete effectively in the marketplace, and substantially reduce petroleum consumption by offering fuel flexibility. The funding, which is subject to Congressional appropriations, will be combined with an industry cost share of 50 per cent.