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December 29, 2016 8:00 AM, EST

Energy Department Awards $18 Million for Electric Vehicle Projects

Five firms will split $18 million from the Department of Energy to advance plug-in electric technology for cars and heavy duty vehicles.

The funding is meant to improve energy security, reduce emissions, and enhance local and regional economies, according to background the department provided Dec. 22.

Recipients include Odyne Systems of Wisconsin, which will use $2.9 million to develop Class 7 trucks capable of reducing fuel consumption by more than 50%. Blue Bird Body Co. from Georgia will receive $4.9 million for developing a battery-powered electric school bus. And, Blossman Services of North Carolina will use $2 million to develop an engine and emission control system to be used on a package delivery vehicle.

Other recipients include PacifiCorp. of Oregon, receiving $3.9 million, and Gas Technology Institute of Illinois receiving $4.9 million.

Funding from the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is directed for projects that advance development and deployment of efficient and renewable technologies, as well as market-based innovations to enhance energy security.