The 2015 Chevrolet Volt, photo by Kareem Girgis.

The 2015 Chevrolet Volt, photo by Kareem Girgis.

The U.S. Department of Energy has offered $58 million in funding for vehicle technology advancements through its Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program, the agency has announced.

The agency will offer $55 million for projects in the areas of energy storage, electric drive systems, materials, fuels and lubricants and advanced combustion. Two innovative projects at CALSTART and the National Association of Regional Councils will receive $3 million to develop systems that help companies combine their purchasing of advanced vehicles, components, and infrastructure to reduce incremental cost and achieve economies of scale, Secretary Ernest Moniz announced.

"Our work refining cars that are efficient, affordable and can plug into the grid will also help propel us to even greater progress on reducing pollution and boosting energy security," Moniz said.

These technologies will help save American consumers money and decrease carbon emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of conventional cars and trucks, while also supporting DOE's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable to own and operate as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022.

The federal government overhauled the ATVM program in 2014, following several high-profile failures from companies who recieved DOE loans, including Fisker Automotive, who recieved a $529 million committment from DOE before declaring bankruptcy. Other loans have gone to successful companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Tesla Motors.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet