USU Project Receives Significant Department of Energy Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Utah State University a $3 million grant to develop technology that could dramatically improve the battery performance of electric vehicles.

The $3,070,051 award is part of $43 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced earlier this month.

“To be among just 12 lead organizations selected for an award is a high honor,” said Regan Zane, a USTAR professor of computer and electrical engineering at Utah State University and principal investigator for the project. “Through this three-year program, we’ll develop cell-level power control architecture that improves electric vehicle battery performance and, as a result, could decrease battery pack costs by some 25 percent.”

Zane recently joined the wireless power transfer team at USU, coming from the University of Colorado at Boulder. “Regan is one of the newest USTAR recruits at USU, and his winning this significant grant is an indication of the kind of talent we’re attracting to our campus,” said Robert T. Behunin, vice president for commercialization and regional development at Utah State University.

According to a DOE news release announcing the awards, the 19 total projects funded by ARPA-E “leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses.”

USU is the lead research organization on the project, and has partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and Boulder campuses, and the Ford Motor Company. Ultimately, researchers will demonstrate their approach on a full-scale commercial Ford PHEV battery pack.

For more information about the award, visit

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