WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- More than $175 million during the next five years would help manufacturers develop more advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles, the U.S. Energy Department said.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that about 40 efforts across 15 states would target projects ranging from better fuels to lighter materials and longer-lasting batteries.
"Investments in the next generation of autos will strengthen our economy and lead to a more fuel-efficient, clean energy future," Chu said in a statement.
The announcement follows a series of new automotive and truck standards for future model years.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced that standards for trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.
Obama unveiled new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in July. Over a series of incremental increases, the standards would impose restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions and push fuel efficiency standards to the equivalent of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.
Members of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives said the measures are too strict. They are lower than those in place in China and the European Union, however.