Mass. Companies Get $27 M To Develop Clean Cars

By Sarah Birnbaum

Aug. 11, 2011

A Nissan Leaf charges in Portland, Ore. The government recently awarded millions of dollars in grants to develop technology for electric and other "green" cars. (AP)

BOSTON — Massachusetts companies will receive about $27 million dollars from the federal government to help improve fuel efficiency technologies for next generation cars.

The U.S. Department of energy says it’s awarding more than $175 million to  spur clean-auto technology and the production of advanced car batteries. The funding will go to 40 projects in 15 states, including eight projects in Massachusetts.
Natick company Metal Oxygen Separation Technologies won a $6 million grant. CEO Steve Derezinski says the money will go to developing a cheaper and greener way to manufacture magnesium metal.
“The Department of energy has a goal of 55 miles per gallon now. And the best way to do that is just make the vehicles lighter. And magnesium is the lowest density engineering metal out there to make the cars lighter and more fuel efficient,” Derezinski said.
Industry analysts say finding cheaper ways of producing magnesium will make it a more viable choice for automakers,
who must meet the new fuel economy standards by 2025.
Other Massachusetts companies to receive grants include A123systems, a lithium ion battery maker in watertown, and GMZ Energy in Waltham, which is working on a device that captures heat from a car's exhaust and converts it into energy.
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