Electric Vehicles for American Low-carbon Living
The transportation sector is responsible for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with road-based passenger vehicles accounting for 57% of those emissions. Cars, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and pick-up trucks emit more than one billion tons of CO2 domestically per year. As the U.S. works to decarbonize the transportation sector and increase production of “clean” (zero emission) electricity, electric vehicles (EVs) are compelling alternatives to vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs).
The key to EV adoption is a reliable, inexpensive battery that can charge fast and provide improved performance and range retention in cold weather compared to state-of-the-art commercial options. ARPA-E's EVs4ALL program will increase EV market share by developing next-generation battery technologies to significantly improve EV affordability, convenience, reliability, and safety. Program objectives for batteries to accomplish this mission include:
- Achieving a charge rate equivalent to 5-15 minutes to restore 80% of cell capacity
- Reducing low-temperature battery performance losses by at least 50%
- Retaining a minimum of 90% capacity after the battery has delivered 200,000 miles of equivalent and cumulative range
- Identifying a compelling pathway to a cost of < $75/kWh at commercial scale
- Implementing new and existing protocols to verify safety of new battery chemistries and cell designs
Although EVs are expected to gain market share domestically, more effort is required to address the market needs arising from three main challenges. First, more than one third of Americans live in homes without garages or carports and do not have the option of charging EVs in a leisurely way at home. EV batteries capable of safe, rapid charging at charging stations are needed. Second, two thirds of Americans buy used vehicles rather than new. EV batteries with enhanced performance and range retention are needed to make sales of used EVs competitive with sales of used vehicles with conventional ICEs. Finally, low temperatures cause reduced EV battery performance, capacity, and power. EV batteries that are more resilient at low temperatures are critical to motivate greater adoption in colder climates.
EVs4ALL’s primary objective is to increase domestic new and used EV adoption through developing batteries that are fast-charging, effective at low temperatures, and more durable.
Solutions will target the use of “noncritical” battery materials, while minimizing the use of cobalt and nickel. A reduced dependence on the importation of critical metals supports U.S. energy independence.
80% adoption of EVs in the U.S. could reduce overall CO2 emissions by 800 million tons/year.
80% adoption of EVs in the U.S. could reduce annual energy consumption by 4 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Quads).