The US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, announced yesterday that the Department of Energy is poised to provide $184 million for research into advanced vehicle development. The cash is meant to help push along any research that will help the US get off foreign oil — i.e. to use less oil, or no oil — and will be awarded to a number of different organizations. This announcement comes just after the first two styles of commercial electric vehicles, the Volt and the Leaf,were delivered to dealerships in the US. Now that we’ve got a fleet on the ground, it’s time to ramp up the technology and make all our old clunkers to sustainable fuel savers.

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“These awards will help ensure America leads the world in the development of advanced vehicle technologies that support cost-competitive, convenient, and comfortable fuel-efficient vehicles,” said Secretary Chu. “Investments in the next generation of vehicle technologies are laying the groundwork for a sustainable transportation sector in America that strengthens our economy and improves our economic competitiveness.”

The Department of Energy is hoping to fund projects in a number of different sectors, most importantly the development of electric vehicles and plug in electric hybrids. The cash will also go to projects focused on advanced materials, combustion research, hybrid electric systems, fleet efficiency, and fuels technology. The cash hasn’t been dolled out yet and the Department of Energy is accepting applications until February 28, 2011. As with most of their advanced technology grants, they’ll most likely be funding a number of different projects.

+ The US Department of Energy