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US DOE Releases Funding Notice for Natural Gas Engine Research

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a Notice of Intent, DE-FOA-0001812, for medium and heavy duty natural gas vehicle engine research and development. This notice comes as a result of the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill:

“Within available funds, the recommendation includes up to $15,000,000 for medium and heavy-duty on-road natural gas engine research and development, including energy efficiency improvements, emission after-treatment technologies, fuel system enhancements, and new engine development. Additionally, the Department is encouraged to address technical barriers to the increased use of alternative fuel vehicles, including the development of novel compression and liquefaction technologies, advanced materials, and improvements in processes for conditioning and dispensing natural gas.”

This Notice of Intent is to provide potential applicants advance notice that the Department of Energy intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement, DE-FOA-0001813, entitled “Medium / Heavy Duty, On-Road Natural Gas Engine Research and Development.” The goal of this program is to address technical barriers to the adoption of natural gas vehicles. The Department is focusing on early stage research on medium and heavy duty on-road engine technologies. This program is not intended to fund a complete engine development. However, subsystem research leading to increased overall engine efficiency is within scope. Potential technologies may include combustion strategies, engine subsystems, emission control systems, fuel systems, and controls.

With the beginning of the Trump Administration and their stated desire to cut government spending, many in Washington were concerned about deep funding cuts to key programs, including those of importance to the NGV industry. Despite these concerns, NGVAmerica obtained crucial programmatic language and key funding for our R&D priorities. NGVAmerica, working with congressional offices, secured funding and legislative language supporting several key NGV initiatives for FY2017.

In the Omnibus spending agreement for FY 2017 were several provisions requested by NGVAmerica, including:

  • $15 million for natural gas engine research and development in Energy and Water and related agency funding
  • $34 million for Clean Cities Deployment
  • Programmatic language relating to new safety regulations for liquefied natural gas fuel tanks and fuel systems and language related to guidance for deploy transit buses that have roof-top mounted CNG cylinders

Additionally, NGVAmerica staff participated in a Department of Energy R&D workshop at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on July 25. At this workshop, we shared the NGVAmerica Technology & Development Committee’s top R&D priorities.

Finally, NGVAmerica staff continues to meet with DOE to assist in the process wherever permitted.

Below are helpful links to the Notice of Intent and reference materials:

Notice of Intent to Issue Funding Opportunity Announcement

Natural Gas Vehicle Research Workshop Materials

This topic will be discussed in further detail at the Technology & Development Committee meeting that will be held in conjunction with the NGVAmerica Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on September 26. If you have not already done so, please register by clicking here.