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Obama Wants $2 bil Advanced Vehicle Research Trust Fund

By tapping oil, gas drilling royalties, proposal could win bipartisan support.

by on Mar.15, 2013

President Barack Obama during his State of the Union speech last month.

Following up on a pledge made during his State of the Union address to “shift our cars and trucks off oil for good,” President Barack Obama is seeking Congressional approval for a $2 billion energy trust fund to support the development of advanced vehicle technologies.

The request could be a challenge to achieve considering the current, highly partisan situation in Washington, where even the military has fallen victim to Congressional gridlock. An earlier Obama Administration program focusing on battery propulsion was effectively shut down by Republican opponents after some high-profile problems.

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The White House nonetheless hopes to sidestep the ongoing federal budget debate by promising the requested funding “would be set aside from royalty revenues generated by oil and gas development in federal waters of the Outer Continental Shelf.” That could be a salve to those who have demanded the White House continues to expand oil and gas drilling. There are already some signs of support from Republicans.


GM Licenses Technology to Extend Battery Range

Developed by Argonne National Lab, material could reduce “range anxiety.”

by on Jan.07, 2011

The new technology from the Argonne National Lab could squeeze more range out of a Chevy Volt battery pack, like this one.

The roll-out of electric vehicles is likely to be a slow one, most experts agree, because of the high cost, limited range and long charging times required by even the most advanced lithium-ion batteries.

But the Chicago-based Argonne National Laboratory has apparently come up with technology that could address at least two of those problems – and General Motors has just licensed the new material for use in battery-based vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

If the technology lives up to expectations, it should permit GM engineers to address so-called “range anxiety” by squeezing more miles out of a battery between charges.  The Argonne-developed material also allows batteries to be charged at higher voltages, which could reduce the time needed between charges.