Energy Secretary Moniz: Low oil prices dont affect CAFE goals

Energy Secretary Moniz: Low oil prices donêt affect CAFE goals

Addressing a recurring topic discussed throughout Industry/Media Day at The Washington Auto Show, Jan. 21, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that low oil prices donêt affect the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards requiring automakers to reach an average 54.5 mpg by 2025.

–Things like CAFE stand quite independent of oil prices,” he said. –We have a long-term view, such that whatever the oil price is today, you can be assured itês going to change.”

Moniz said heês bullish about electric vehicles, –particularly as innovation drives down battery costs.”

There are 400,000 EVs on the U.S. roads, Moniz noted. His goal is to have plug-in vehicles as affordable as regular cars by early in the next decade.

As in past years at The Washington Auto Show, Sec. Moniz announced that funding is available for vehicle technology advances through the Department of Energyês Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. There is $16 million left in the program, available to automakers and suppliers for projects such as energy storage, electric drive systems, materials, fuels and lubricants and advanced combustion.

The program has a three-part focus: increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, increasing electrification and improving alternative fuel vehicles. Using grant funding, Argonne Laboratory in Chicago developed an improved lithium ion battery that is licensed to the Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus.

–How EVs and the grid work together is an important part of our research,” said Moniz.

DOE also worked with Ford on the Eco-Boost F-150 to reduce fuel use by 25 percent. And a $3 million grant helped vehicle fleets to buy alternative fuel vehicles.

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