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GE Global Research Announces $6.8 Million to Accelerate Technology Advancements for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

November 09, 2007

NISKAYUNA, NY – GE Global Research, the centralized research organization of the General Electric Company, has $6.8 million in funding for two projects with the U.S. Department of Energy to help accelerate the introduction of plug-in hybrid vehicles to market, according to the Web site

The first project is a $5.6 million contract to develop smaller, lower cost, higher performing hybrid drivetrain motors for hybrid electric vehicles. The second is a $1.2 million project to develop advanced high temperature, high energy density capacitors. Both technologies are critical to helping enable the commercialization of plug-in hybrid vehicles. These projects are co-funded by the DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technologies and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

GE’s ecomagination initiative has pledged to more than double its investment in the development of cleaner energy technologies from $700 million to $1.5 billion during the next five years.

The focus of the advanced motors project is to have a scalable family of hybrid vehicle interior permanent magnet motor designs that are validated by testing and ready to supply the U.S. and global hybrid vehicle market. Researchers in Niskayuna also will utilize expertise from the Center’s Nanotechnology Advanced Technology Program to drive key nanomaterial advancements to deliver an increase in machine efficiency, according to

The project is scheduled to last three years and carried out in two phases. Phase 1, will entail a detailed study to assess low-cost manufacturing approaches, improved geometries, and the advanced materials and motor designs applied to build the motor. Phase 2 will involve testing both light-automobile rated and heavier-vehicle rated prototype motors.

Capacitors are a critical component of the power electronics used in a plug-in hybrid drive system. As part of a second and separate DOE project, GE will focus on developing capacitors with higher power density and higher temperature capability. This will help reduce the size, cost, and weight of the vehicle, while also improving performance.

GE researchers will be working on new capacitor materials and integrated device design. The project will be executed in two phases over a three-year period. In the first phase, the team will focus on the fundamental material development and upon success, be moving forward with building prototype capacitors in the final phase. GE will be working with multiple industry partners on the overall system integration, according to

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