54 m.p.g? Argonne Nat'l Lab wins grant for fuel efficiency research

August 11, 2011

The Associated Press

(Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)
Researchers confer about a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) test at Argonne's Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF)

The dream of a car that gets 54 miles per gallon is behind a grant headed for Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

The lab is receiving $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy for research aimed at helping automakers achieve fuel efficiency standards required by 2025. The award was among more than $175 million in grants announced Wednesday.

The funding announced by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will support 40 projects across 15 states.

Researchers at Argonne are developing boron-based lubricant additives. Projects funded elsewhere focus on lighter weight materials, longer-lasting and cheaper electric vehicle batteries and more efficient engine technologies.

Last month, the White House announced a deal with automakers to double overall fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, starting in model year 2017.