Frequently Asked Questions

Select a FOA to view questions and answers for the specific funding opportunity. Alternatively select "Non-FOA related items" to view system FAQ items.

Question 1: "Can you please clarify the following question? • Can workspaces (e.g. final assembly facilities) be leased and those costs reimbursed under this grant?"
Answer 1:
DOE will not make a firm decision now as to the allowability of a cost.  It is incumbent upon applicants to review the applicable regulations and cost principles.  If selected for negotiations leading to award, all proposed costs will be thoroughly evaluated.
DOE will not make a firm decision now as to the allowability of a cost.  It is incumbent upon applicants to review the applicable regulations and cost principles.  If selected for negotiations leading to award, all proposed costs will be thoroughly evaluated.
Question 2: When are you available to discuss a proposal?
Answer 2: Please submit a concept paper to receive a DOE recommendation regarding your proposed project.  DOE will not discuss over the phone or in person.
Question 3: I am writing to ask if it is allowable to be Co-PI on multiple concept papers or full proposals for this call, "DE-FOA-0002197: FY20 ADVANCED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES RESEARCH FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT".
Answer 3: Yes, it is allowable to be a PI or co-PI on more than one application.
Question 4: "1) Under AOI 6a, the cost share for a university is 0% if the prime recipient performs 50% of the work. We are planning on being the prime recipient and teaming with two universities. If we are performing the required 50% of the work, is the required 20% cost share for the total project costs or just our costs? 2) Under AOI 6a, If the prime recipient is performing less than 50% of the work and they are teaming with a university, is the prime recipient required to cost share the total project costs (including the university)?"
Answer 4: 1) Under AOI6a (as well as AOI4 and AOI5), a university or non-profit must hold the role of prime applicant and must perform at least 50% of the project work (as measured by total project costs) to be eligible for a reduced cost share of 0% (applied to the total project costs).  If a for-profit holds the role of prime (regardless of percentage of work that for-profit is performing), the reduced cost share doesn’t apply.   
2) Regardless of percentage of work performed and/or proposed teaming, a for-profit organization applying as a prime under AOI6a must provide 20% cost share based on the total project costs.


Question 5: "For DE-FOA-0002197, could in-kind contributions for the local cost share (specifically AOI 9 & 10), would the following qualify: 1. A research project with a university paid 100% by the County that is directly tied to our topic 2. A County employee anticipated time on the project plus overhead 3. Recent projects to update the County infrastructure that is critical to our topic (this project was LET, so have bid tabs for proof)"
Answer 5: DOE will not make a firm decision now as to the allowability of a cost.  It is incumbent upon applicants to review the applicable regulations and cost principles.  If selected for negotiations leading to award, all proposed costs will be thoroughly evaluated.  In general, personnel costs (direct labor and fringes) are allowable.  However, personnel costs incurred for a separate project might need to be prorated as the DOE project would not be receiving 100% of the benefit of that effort.  Similarly, infrastructure costs may be allowable on a prorated basis.

Question 6: Does all Intellectual property become the property of the federal government? Is there a requirement that the public must be able to use all intellectual property? What if a patent is already filed?
Answer 6: Please visit https://www.energy.gov/gc/standard-intellectual-property-ip-provisions-financial-assistance-awards to review the applicable Intellectual Property Provision that will be in the resultant awards depending on the Area of Interest and the type of organization.  See also Sections VIII.J.-N. of the FOA.
Question 7: I have a question about the eligibility of PIs and co-Pis. While I am a tenure-track assistant professor at an institute of higher education, I am not a US citizen or a permanent resident. I have a work visa (H-1B). Does that make me ineligible to write a proposal for this FOA? I have a few other team members from my institution and other national labs that are US citizens or permanent residents.
Answer 7: Please see Section VI. B. iii. of the FOA for details on the requirements for Foreign National Access to DOE Sites.
Question 8: "I'm confused about the language for AOI 8 in this FOA. On page 25 anticipated approaches include "Novel materials such as low cost, high production fiber feedstocks;". However, on page 26 "Applications Discouraged" includes ""Applications which largely focus on development of reinforcement fibers". Can you please clarify? I don't see how one could develop novel fiber feedstocks without necessarily devoting a significant effort to developing the reinforcement fibers from those feedstocks."
Answer 8: Technologies proposed may utilize fibers from low cost, high production feedstocks; however, it is not the intent of this AOI to develop carbon fiber (CF) feedstocks or production technologies for the CF.


Question 9: We have been approached about teaming on a Port-related Electric Vehicle and Charging Community Partnership Project. Are battery-electric locomotives and marine vessels funding eligible within this AOI?
Answer 9: AOI 14 is focused on light, medium and heavy-duty on road plug-in electric vehicles not marine or locomotives.
Question 10: Does the scope of DE-FOA-0002197 comprise the development of a flow battery-powered electric marine vehicle recharged by renewable electricity via a land-based flow battery?
Answer 10: Flow battery development is outside the scope of this FOA.
Question 11: Does this VTO solicitation exclude “air vehicles” (e.g. electrified aircraft) in terms of applications. I looked through the current VTO mission online and didn’t see anywhere where the scope is ground-only though most of the xEV references are to ground vehicles.
Answer 11:
Aircraft are not in scope for this announcement.

Aircrafts are not in scope for this announcement.
Question 12: May teams include OEMs as vehicle suppliers?
Answer 12:

OEMs, as for-profit domestic entities, are eligible to participate as subrecipients in this announcement.

Question 13: Are there any limits on number of vehicles or dollar cost of vehicles?
Answer 13: AOI 14 does not impose a  limit on the number of vehicles proposed or the proposed  cost per vehicle.
Question 14: We are interested in responding to AOI 6b as a subrecipient to a university or industrial led proposal. The cost share table (pg 55 of FOA) lists ‘N/A’ under AOI6b for the cost share for FFRDCs and National Labs. Can you please clarify if cost share is required for a NL’s portion of funding for a NL participating as a sub to a university and/or industry led proposal. Typically cost share has been required for NL support in the past, but the ‘N/A’ is confusing – does the N/A imply that the team does not need to provide cost share for the NL portion of the research?
Answer 14: As stated in section III.B.i of the FOA, legal responsibility for paying the cost share resides with the prime recipient.  Consequently, there is no required minimum cost share for applicants participating as a subrecipient. Section II.B.ii of the FOA states that each project team is free to determine how to best allocate the cost share requirement among the team members.  The cost share table in section III.B of the FOA was updated to clarify this.


Question 15: Can you clarify the cost share requirements for FFRDCs and National Labs described in the tables on page 55-56? Is “N/A” equivalent to 0%, meaning that national labs do not need to provide cost share?
Answer 15:

The cost share table in Section III.B of the FOA describes the minimum cost share requirements for entities applying as the prime applicant.  There is no minimum cost share requirement for entities applying as a subrecipient.  The N/A in the column for FFRDC's means that minimum  cost share requirement for FFRDC's is not applicable because an FFRDC is not eligible apply as the prime to that AOI.  The cost share table in section III.B of the FOA was updated to clarify this.

Question 16: Does AOI 16 have a scope limited to the US, or would a sub-Saharan Africa project be considered? It would be electrified motorcycles for mass transit.
Answer 16:

Project scopes that focus outside of the US are strongly discouraged.

Question 17: "What if the funding sought is for the development of the marine vehicle and recharging system rather than for the development of the flow battery?"
Answer 17: Marine vehicles are only in-scope for AOI 12 (Gaseous Fuels Technology Demonstration Projects) in this FOA.
Question 18: Can you clarify whether the target for AOI5 is on-road medium and heavy-duty engines, or is this AOI open to off-road applications. The “Objective” states “medium- and heavy-duty truck natural gas or LPG engines”. Does truck specifically mean Class 3 – 8 trucks (for example as explicitly stated in AOI7), or is this AOI open to off-highway construction and mining trucks?
Answer 18: AOI 5 is for on-road medium and heavy-duty engines only.
Question 19: Iin AOI6, the FOA stated that technologies of interest included “advanced combustion and emission control research, thermal management (coatings, waste energy recovery, frictions reduction and lubricants), efficient fluid power, new system architectures, energy recovery, electrification and hybridization, and connectivity and automation of vehicles and/or work implements that demonstrate greater energy efficiency”. However this language was limited for AOI6a in the FOA, but retained for AOI6b. Should we interpret this change to mean that the technologies listed above are not highly encouraged for AOI6a, or is that list of technologies still valid, in addition to the specifically called out ones in the FOA for 6a?
Answer 19:

The list of technologies described in AOI 6b are also valid for AOI 6a.



Question 20: We are interested in submitting a proposal for this new project (see link below) and would like to know if a faculty member is eligible to serve as the PI on this new project if they are already serving as the PI of a currently funded DOE project?
Answer 20:

A faculty member may serve as the PI on more than one DOE funded project.

A faculty member may serve as the PI on more than one DOE funded project.

Question 21: "It was mentioned in the FOA that “Each Concept Paper must be limited to a single concept or technology.” We therefore wonder if that “single concept” must pick only one central topic from the many anticipated technology approaches list in the FOA. Or the instruction is emphasizing that researchers should put together an cohesive concept rather than a bit of everything? I am putting the excerpt of the mentioned “anticipated technology approaches” in the AOI# 4 for your reference. • Thermal and chemical aging mitigation and activity enhancement of PGM and wash coat components • Active site optimization including optimal dispersion, single atom versus ensemble, and zirconia alternatives • Improved wash coat promoters and stabilizers • Palladium and rhodium substitution with other Platinum group metals (Ru, Ir), base metals, and other elements/compounds/alloys "
Answer 21:

A project described in a concept paper may include more than one technology and may include related technical approaches.  The concept paper must make clear how the technologies and approaches are related and work together to achieve the targeted improvement.

Question 22: I'm wondering whether a National Laboratory can be the prime in any AOI or not - more specifically AOI 3, 14 and 16. I went through the proposal document and didn't see anything specifically about it but wanted to confirm this point.
Answer 22:

An FFRDC or National Lab may apply as a prime applicant to topics 5 or 6a.  They may apply as a subrecipient to any of the AOIs.  Please see the table on page 53 of the FOA for more information.

Question 23: On page 55 of the call, AOI #5 and 6a state that FFRDCs are required to provide 0-20% Cost Share**. The ‘**’ reference on page 56 states FFRDCs and/or Nationals Labs must provide 20% cost share. Those who can provide verification of their non-profit status are eligible for the reduced cost share. On page 58 iv Cost Share Contributions by FFRDCs: it states because FFRDCs are funded by the federal government, costs incurred by FFRDCs generally may not be used to meet the cost share requirement. We are a National Lab/FFRDC and we are non-profit. We have a proposal we are working on with an industry partner who is subject to their own 20% cost share requirement. Since we are exempt from providing Cost Share, will this partner be responsible for our 20% Cost Share in addition to their own 20% Cost Share requirement? Or will they only need to provide their own 20% Cost Share requirement? Also, when would an FFRDC or National Lab ever be responsible for Cost Share as written on page 56? (are there any National Labs/FFRDCs that are not non-profit?)
Answer 23:

The cost share table on page 55 lists the cost share requirements for entities that apply as the prime applicant.  The prime applicant has legal responsibility to insure that the required cost share for the proposed project is met.  For topics 5 and 6a, an FFRDC has the opportunity to apply as the prime applicant at a reduced cost share provided they are a non-profit and perform at least 50% of the project work as measured by total project cost.  For entities applying as a subrecipient, the FOA has no specific required cost share.  Instead the project team, led by the prime applicant, must decide how to best allocate cost share among the project team.

Question 24: "We have developed some “Long Endurance Solar-Fuel Cell Powered Electric Multirotor Drones”: Are such systems considered for the “DE-FOA-0002197, Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Funding Opportunity Announcement”?"
Answer 24:

Drones are not considered within scope for this FOA.

Drones are not considered within scope for this FOA.

Question 25: For applicants to AOI 5 and 6a, where per pg 55 the cost share for FFRDCs/Labs ranges 0-20% depending on the for-profit status of the entity. The footnote states that: FFRDCs and/or National Labs must provide 20% cost share. Those who can provide verification of their non-profit status are eligible for the reduced cost share. My interpretation of this is that for FFRDCs or National Labs that have non-profit status their portion of the cost share requirement is 0%. For example, in a $1MM total project, with 50% non-profit lab participation and 50% for-profit participation, the overall cost share requirement would be $100,000, or 0% of the $500,000 requested by the national lab, and 20% on the $500,000 budget of the for-profit. Can you please confirm that this is correct?
Answer 25:

No.  If the FFRDC is a non-profit and applies as the prime applicant to topics 5 or 6a, then the cost share for the prime applicant (and the project) is reduced to 0% provided the FFRDC performs at least 50% of the project work as measured by the total project cost.  In this case none of the subrecipients, including for-profit companies, would be required to provide any cost share.

In other words, the cost share requirement for the prime applicant represents the cost share for the project.  In this example, the cost share reduction to 0% for the prime applicant reduces the cost share for the project to 0% as well.

Question 26: To clarify, if we as an FFRDC apply as the Prime applicant, and we being a non-profit are exempt from Cost Share, but the sub-recipient is from Industry, does the project still require the 20% Cost Share?
Answer 26:

No.  If the FFRDC is a non-profit and applies as the prime applicant to topics 5 or 6a, then the cost share for the prime applicant (and the project) is reduced to 0% provided the FFRDC performs at least 50% of the project work as measured by the total project cost.  In this case none of the subrecipients, including for-profit companies, would be required to provide any cost share.

In other words, the cost share requirement for the prime applicant represents the cost share for the project.  In this example, the cost share reduction to 0% for the prime applicant reduces the cost share for the project to 0% as well.

Question 27: Can you tell me what a concept paper requires. Is there a application, requirements of information, length of document?
Answer 27:

Please read the FOA for information regarding how to apply, including the Concept Paper requirements.  The FOA may be found at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/#FoaId0479e8d2-3ad8-4964-ab4b-b665b77029d5

Question 28: Can you clarify if FFRDC as a sub, has to come up with a cost share for a project lead by university (AOI #2)? Either by its non-federal source or by the other team members?
Answer 28:

The prime applicant has legal responsibility to insure that the required cost share for the proposed project is met.    For entities applying as a subrecipient, the FOA has no specific required cost share.  Instead the project team, led by the prime applicant, must decide how to best allocate cost share among the project team members.  For FFRDcs, any cost share would have to come from non-federal sources.

The prime applicant has legal responsibility to insure that the required cost share for the proposed project is met.    For entities applying as a subrecipient, the FOA has no specific required cost share.  Instead the project team, led by the prime applicant, must decide how to best allocate cost share among the project team members.  For FFRDcs, any cost share would have to come from non-federal sources.

Question 29: We plan to propose Solid State Li Ion Batteries using Silicon-based anode. The cell will contain the Si anode, a solid state electrolyte (separator), and a NMC cathode. It will an all-solid-state-battery (ASSB) without any liquids. Is it eligible for this topic?
Answer 29:

Please submit a concept paper to receive a recommendation regarding your proposed project.



Question 30: Please clarify what is meant by “rebates or incentives” under Section I. C. Applications Specifically Not of Interest. For instance, are utility make ready programs or utility time of use rates considered “rebates or incentives”?
Answer 30:

A rebate is an amount paid by way of reduction, return, or refund on what has already been paid or contributed. An incentive, on the other hand, is intended to initiate action (i.e. without it, that action would likely not occur). Make ready and time of use programs designed as rebates or incentives are specifically not of interest for this AOI.

A rebate is an amount paid by way of reduction, return, or refund on what has already been paid or contributed. An incentive, on the other hand, is intended to initiate action (i.e. without it, that action would likely not occur). Make ready and time of use programs designed as rebates or incentives are specifically not of interest for this AOI.

Question 31: " 1. Can we propose novel technologies related to manufacturing of tanks for automotive applications? 2. Can a University in another country be a partner?"
Answer 31:

1. Please submit a concept paper to receive a recommendation regarding your proposed project.

2. A foreign entity may be a subrecipient. Note that section IV.I.iii of the FOA requires that all work be performed in the United States.

Question 32: "we are interested in railway motive power applications. One of our area of expertise is in hydrogen-powered railway vehicles. In part 12, Gaseous Fuels Technology Demonstration Projects, rail is specifically mentioned in the context of natural gas. Would a hydrogen rail project be considered as part of this funding announcement? Likely either a passenger locomotive application or a freight switcher locomotive. We would collaborate with industry partners for this project with the goal of demonstrating the suitability of hydrogen in a heavy-duty rail application. "
Answer 32: Hydrogen rail and marine projects are within scope for AOI 12.
Question 33: We are interested in AOI 13 for EV demonstration. I have a question for item 2 in page 36 “Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) factory produced alternative fuel vehicle must be new”. Does this mean that this vehicle must be available now when proposal is submitted or it can be a vehicle to be in market in one or two years? We found an OEM which have the EV currently being tested which will be put to market in about one year. Please clarify if we are allowed to demonstrate this EV in the 3rd year of this project.
Answer 33:

The second General Requirement listed in AOI 13 states that Applications must include: “A description of the commercially-available, on-road alternative fuel and/or advanced technology light-, medium-, or heavy-duty vehicles to be demonstrated under the proposed project, including the number of vehicles the project will involve.” This means the proposed vehicles must be commercially available at the time of  application submission.

Question 34: Per the FOA, the goal is to increase Si content to a substantial amount > 30% (or 30-70%). I have identified a company Sienza Energy, a Caltech start up located in Pasadena that has developed an all-Si anode with good results (I still have to see). But we are planning to respond to this solicitation, partnering with this company and Quallion to make prototype cells for the 1B category. The question I have is the FOA states that there is a limit on the project share (10%) for the FFRDC. Is this true. Does it mean that our funding share cannot be more than 10%? Please clarify this for me.
Answer 34:

Yes, for AOI 1b the limit on total federal lab participation is 10% of the total project costs.

Question 35: I have a question about this FOA for AOI 10 on Enabling Vehicle and Infrastructure Connectivity. Is partnering with state DOTs allowed?
Answer 35:

Yes, teaming with state DOTs is allowed.

Question 36: "We are interested in the above-mentioned FOA, and are trying to determine if one of our supporting entities can be involved with a different proposal, either as a supporting role or as a Primary for one of their own proposals. Relatedly, are we able to submit multiple Concept Papers as the Primary if a proposed technology is generally applicable to multiple topics (requiring additional/different specifics for each)?"
Answer 36:

1.Entities may apply as a primary applicant and/or subrecipient on more than one application.

2.  Each concept paper and full application must describe a unique, scientifically distinct project.  See section III.F (page 61) of the FOA for more information.

Question 37: For Topics 5 and 6a, the FOA states “FFRDCs and/or National Labs must provide 20% cost share. Those who can provide verification of their non-profit status are eligible for the reduced cost share.” What constitutes “verification of non-profit status?”
Answer 37: Verification should be in the form of official correspondence, on letterhead and signed by a responsible agency representative, with a statement that affirms the applicant’s status as a non-profit.
Question 38: I am interested to submit a concept paper for AOI 16 for the FOA 0002197 (Advanced Vehicle Technologies) on a topic related to the application of battery degradation models in the charging/discharging control of vehicles considering V2G and G2V. Can I please know whether you have any prescribed application form for the concept paper? Looks the website has only the form for full application.
Answer 38:

The form and content of the Concept Paper is described in section IV.C (page 63) of the FOA document.

Question 39: We are interested in this FOA, and specifically AOI 10: Enabling Vehicle and infrastructure connectivity. My background is electric power system and my understanding of infrastructure is the electric grid. Could you please clarify for me what is meant about infrastructure. Our idea is to coordinate the electric fleet and the power system to optimize the cost (both electricity or energy cost and transportation cost) to improve movement of people.
Answer 39:

The infrastructure in the context of this Area of Interest is intended to be part of the transportation system that includes vehicle-to-highway system and/or vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Question 40: "I’m contacting you in regards to the Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Funding Opportunity Announcement. We’re looking at building H2 and RNG infrastructure, and I’m curious to get additional info on this opportunity. Specifically looking for; • Overall better understanding of requirements for projects, o Any capacity/dispensed volume requirements according to this funding with regards to an alt. fuel station? o Emissions reduction requirements? o Project implementation timing requirements? o any geographic requirements? o Etc… • what is max funding that can be provided by this program as a % of costs? • which costs are covered with an alt. fuel station project (equipment only, Equipment and labor, etc…)? • is this funding stackable with other funding?"
Answer 40:

Please review the FOA for information regarding topics, requirements, and funding.

Please review the FOA for information regarding topics, requirements, and funding.

Question 41: Can you provide me with a couple dates and times you would be available for a quick 30 minute phone call. Then I will coordinate the call?
Answer 41: All FOA related questions must be submitted through the FOA email address.
Question 41: Are proposals for AOI #8 required to use carbon fiber as the reinforcement or will solutions that create lightweight automotive parts using glass fibers also be considered?
Answer 41:

Reinforcements must not be metallic or ceramic.  No other restrictions are placed upon the type of reinforcement, provided that the composite meets mechanical property requirements.

Question 42: "I have a questions on FY20 VTO FOA 2197, AOI 15. The instructions for this AOI state: Teaming Arrangements Applicant teams must include at least one designated/active Clean Cities coalition as a lead applicant or key/primary partner. The combined work performed by the Clean Cities Team Member(s) must total to at least 30% of the total project costs. (https://cleancities.energy.gov/coalitions/locations/) We are in an area with no Clean Cities. Is there any way to apply locally for AOI 15 without a Clean Cities coalition on the team? We have some unique challenges in Alaska, that even the nearest Clean Cities coalitions do not share, but solutions to, and research into, would fit well into this area of interest."
Answer 42:

For AOI 15, an applicant team must include a Clean Cities coalition as a lead applicant or team member and  have at least 30% of the total project work performed by a Clean Cities coalition(s).

Question 43: I am formulating a concept for AOI 2 ‘Low Cost Electric Traction Drive Systems Using No Heavy Rare Earth Materials’ and there a few things in the description that are not clear. I have listed them below: 1. Neodymium is not heavy rare earth metal, it is a rare earth metal, but is listed as something not to be used, although the AOI title mentions only heavy rare earth metals. So, are any rare earth metals allowed for this project? 2. Only kW/l is specified for power density. kW/kg is not specified, when this is a typical measure of power density for motors. Is kW/kg is not a concern and do we only have to aim for the kW/l target? 3. For power density calculation, is the thermal solution to be included? 4. If we come up with an innovative and very efficient motor inverter technology with cost a little higher than >$7/kW, but its efficiency results in lower battery cost by increasing range, is that acceptable? Or is cost of the motor inverter system the only target for this pursuit?
Answer 43:

1. As you correctly note, neodymium is not considered a heavy rare earth element.   Per the AOI title, the intent of this AOI is to eliminate heavy rare earth materials.  The FOA was amended to clarify this.

2. For this AOI kW/l is the designated measure of power density.

3. Thermal equipment external to the drive system is not to be included in the power density calculation.

4. The system cost calculation is up to the applicant, noting the general requirement  that applications must “Describe how the proposed R&D will lead to specific improvements in comparison to the baseline system and address the technical targets, with particular emphasis and details on cost reduction".

Question 44: Please consider the following question and clarification for AOI 2 of DE-FOA-0002197. Page 10 of DE-FOA-0002197, line 3 to 5 of the 1st paragraph, reads, “This is in large part due to the high prices of heavy rare-earth elements (neodymium and dysprosium) which are needed to prevent demagnetization at high temperatures.” According to the DOE 2011 Critical Materials Strategy, neodymium (Nd) is a light rare-earth element, not a heavy rare-earth element (see the last paragraph on page 45 and the Figures 3-4 and 3-5 on page 46.) The two heavy rare-earth elements used in the NdFeB-type permanent magnets to prevent demagnetization at high temperature are terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy). However, neodymium (Nd) is reported in DOE's 2010 and 2011 Critical Materials Strategy (see bullet #2 on page 3) as one of the five rare earth elements facing supply challenges. Is the goal of AOI 2 to eliminate only the heavy rare-earth elements (Tb and Dy), or Tb, Dy AND Nd together? Page 10 of DE-FOA-0002197 states, “Approaches that minimize, or eliminate, the use of all rare-earth materials are also encouraged.” Can you specify which elements should be minimized or eliminated since this will change material and motor design to achieve the cost and performance targets?
Answer 44:

As you correctly note, neodymium is not a heavy rare earth element.  The FOA was amended to clarify this.  The primary goal of the AOI is to eliminate heavy rare earth elements from electric traction drive systems.  In addition, "Approaches that minimize or eliminate the use of all rare earth materials are also encouraged". 

Please submit a concept paper to receive a recommendation regarding your proposed technical approach.

Question 45: We are submitting as 2 small businesses. Do you expect to see a teaming agreement or a collaborative agreement between us?
Answer 45:

Applicants are not required to submit subrecipient contracts as part of the application process.  Please note that while the two entities may be preparing an application together, one of the entities must take the role of prime applicant.  If the entities intend to submit an application as an unincorporated consortium, DOE may request a copy of the collaboration agreement as described in Section III. A. vi of the FOA.

Question 46: Our company only produced 48 units in 2019, but has projected 345 units to be produced in 2020 and 911 total units in 2021, going up to >1500 units in 2023. Our vehicle design is novel, as it includes a single piece structural composite chassis produced by large scale extrusion deposition additive manufacturing, a process largely developed at ORNL MDF. This enables us to produce them profitably at low volumes, reduce embodied energy, maintain recyclability, and rapidly modify or customize the vehicle to customer's needs. I am interested in understanding if your office would consider our company as an OEM for the purpose of the proposal or if you would encourage that we pursue teaming with another large OEM along with national lab and university partners.
Answer 46:

The FOA defined an OEM as “a commercial manufacturer that sells at least 500 vehicles annually”.  Projected sales are speculative and subject to market conditions, product development, and other factors beyond a developer’s control so are not sufficient to meet the requirement.

Question 47: I wonder if you could share with me the template or requirements regarding the concept paper? I have some specific questions like what is the page limit, format requirements, whether budget information needed for the concept paper, etc.,?
Answer 47:

The form and content of the Concept Paper is described in section IV.C (page 63) of the FOA document.

Question 48: I want to check if my company can have a quick call with the DOE representative within the next few days to go over these questions?
Answer 48:

All FOA related questions must be submitted through the FOA email address.

Question 49: In AOI 10, the emission benefits through vehicle/infrastructure connectivity are mentioned, in addition to energy benefits. Does that imply the engine-type vehicles have to be applied in this topic? Namely, pure electric vehicles, which do not have emission issues with/without connectivity (thus no baseline for comparison), cannot be selected/applied in this topic?
Answer 49:

AOI 10 is open to both internal combustion engine vehicles and battery electric vehicles.

Question 50: Which DOE National Laboratories do you consider have SCM expertise?
Answer 50:

DOE will not provide recommendations regarding  FFRDCs to partner with.  Applicants may search the EERE Annual Merit Review presentation database at https://www.energy.gov/eere/vehicles/annual-merit-review-presentations to identify FFRDCs performing SCM projects for DOE.  To assist in searching the database select Electrification as the technology area.

Question 51: I am wondering if you can confirm whether there is a concept paper template available for applicants re: FOA-0002197 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Funding. I just want to make sure we submit a concept paper with any/all required elements and formatting!
Answer 51:

A Concept Paper Template is not available for this FOA.  Please see section IV.C (page 63) of the FOA for Concept Paper content and form requirements.

Question 52: "Under ""Applications Specifically Not of Interest,"" under AOI 11 it is mentioned that ""Applications that propose to only perform modeling and simulation of a connected and automated system solution without physical implementation and validation"" However, this AOI talks about transit, while AOI 10 is on vehicle infrastructure connectivity. Is it possible that the document meant AOI 10 and not 11 here? Would you please clarify. "
Answer 52: AOIs 10 and 11 require physical implementation and validation.
Question 53: Regarding the recent FOA – For AOI 1a: can companies be subcontracted by the universities/non-profit organizations? Or is the entire program area limited to these entities.
Answer 53:

A university may subcontract a portion of the project work to one or more for-profit companies.  Please note that for AOI 1a, universities are required to perform at least 50% of the project work as measured by total project cost.



Question 54: "I am interested in applying for AOI 8: Lightweight and High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites for Vehicle Applications. I would like some clarification on the teaming requirement: ""At least one automotive or heavy-duty original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or Tier 1 supplier to provide automotive performance, cost, and manufacturing requirements. For the purposes of this area of interest, an OEM is defined as a commercial manufacturer that sells at least 500 vehicles annually."" We have identified potential partner, but they have not sold 500 cars last year. We have also identified another potential partner, but they are a separate from their parent company. Would any of these be valid partners or would it disqualify us?"
Answer 54:

DOE will not provide feedback regarding proposed team members prior to  full application submission.  The FOA defines an OEM as “a commercial manufacturer that sells at least 500 vehicles annually.”  Any proposed OEM that sells fewer than 500 vehicles per year would not meet the AOI 8 OEM teaming requirement.

Question 55: We are interested in knowing if there is a teaming partner list for DE-FOA-0002197 (Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research FOA) available.
Answer 55:

DOE is not providing a teaming partner list for this FOA.

Question 56: I cannot download the SF-424: Application for Federal Assistance pdf listed on your Funding Opportunity Announcement for the DE-FOA-0002197: FY20 ADVANCED VEHICLE TECHNOLOGIES RESEARCH FUNDING OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCEMENT. When I try to download it, the webpage keeps saying “Please wait…”. Any help on this matter would be appreciated.
Answer 56:

The hot links have been corrected in the amended version of the FOA currently posted at  https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/#FoaId0479e8d2-3ad8-4964-ab4b-b665b77029d5

Question 57: I have a two-part question related to the cost share requirement for AOI 4, 5, or 6a of this FOA. My question is: 1) If a project team consists of a university and a company, where the university is the prime recipient and conducts more than 50% of the project work as measured by total project costs, then is the required cost share for the entire project 0%, or does the company need to provide 20% cost-share on their share of the project costs? 2) If the answer above is that the total required cost share for the project is 0%, then I have the following question. If a project team consists of two universities and a company, and each member contributes about 1/3 of the project work as measured by total project costs, then is the total project cost-share still 0%, or does the prime recipient university need to contribute more than 50% of the project work to be eligible for the reduced, 0% total required cost-share?
Answer 57:

1. When a university or non-profit is the lead applicant for AOIs 4,5 or 6a, and performs at least 50% of the project work, then lead applicant and the entire project team are eligible for the reduced cost share (0% in this case)

2. For part 2 of your question, the university or non-profit as lead applicant must perform at least 50% of the total project work to be eligible for the reduced cost share.  Aggregating the work of other universities or non-profits on the team does not count towards the 50% total.  If the team chooses to form an unincorporated consortium with a university or non-profit as the consortium  lead or representative, then the cost share of the other universities or non-profits in the consortium may be aggregated to meet the 50% project work requirement.  Please see the cost share table in section III.B of Amendment 00002 of the FOA for more information regarding this.

Question 58: Is there any requirement of the minimum percentage of work that prime recipient mush perform under topics 4, 5, and 6 for FOA-OOO2197.
Answer 58:

Please see the notes at the bottom of the cost share table on page 55 of the FOA for more information regarding project work requirements for prime applicants.

Question 59: "It is mentioned in the FOA that a baseline must be identified Also, it is mentioned that the target is for operating voltages of 600V or higher Excluding couple of the major Japanese OEMMs who have systems at these voltage levels, almost all other OEMS especially North American ones have lower voltage levels Could you please clarify if it would be acceptable to use some of the domestic systems with lower voltages as baselines?"
Answer 59:

It is acceptable to use a lower voltage system as the baseline system.

It is acceptable to use a lower voltage system as the baseline system.

Question 60: Regarding the cost share requirement on page 55 of FOA-OOO2197 under topic 4, does the 20% Cost Share for all Other Applicants apply to the 20% of the total project cost (including cost share) or 20% of the portion that the individual applicant is getting (both federal share and cost share for that individual applicant)?
Answer 60:

The 20% cost share applies to the total project cost.  The prime applicant has the legal responsibility to insure that cost share requirements are met.  Each project team is free to determine how best to allocate the cost share requirement among the team members.

Question 61: We are planning a submission to AOI5 from a consortium of 4 FFRDCs; three are managed by non-profit M&O contractors. The work/funds would be partitioned equally among all four partners. Based on the answer to question 4, we believe that because the lead FFRDC would have only 25% of the work, the reduced cost-share requirement does not apply, even though 75% of the work would be conducted by non-profits. Resources to meet the 20% cost-share requirement are not available. There appear two possible remedies: 1. Submit 2 closely linked applications, each led by a non-profit FFRDC doing 50% of the individual application work, and hope that both are funded. Does this comply with DOE’s intent? 2. Submit a single application as an Unincorporated Consortium. In this case, can the Consortium be considered non-profit if the “prime recipient/consortium representative” is non-profit? If so, does the fact that 75% of the work is being done by non-profit part of the consortium satisfy the requirement for reduced cost-share?
Answer 61:

FFRDCs and/or National Labs must provide 20% cost share. Those who can provide verification of their non-profit status are eligible for the reduced cost share provided they perform at least 50% of the project work as measured by the total project cost. FFRDCs and/or National Labs who elect to form unincorporated consortia are also eligible for the reduced cost share if:

The unincorporated consortia has a non-profit holding the role of prime recipient/consortium representative and performs at least 50% of the project work.
or
The unincorporated consortia has a non-profit holding the role of prime recipient/consortium representative and has non-profit members whose aggregate share of the project work is at least 50%.

Question 62: "The Objective of AOI 13 States: “The objective of this area of interest is to demonstrate an alternative fuel or advanced technology fleet of five or fewer vehicles and supporting infrastructure in communities, fleets, or areas that have no or little experience with these technologies.” Would the following project be deemed eligible for funding under this area of interest: We have a stakeholder with a very large fleet of refrigerated vehicles (18,000) used for food transportation. This fleet is interested in piloting a battery electric powered refrigeration unit, that combines anti-idle technology and solar panels for additional power. This unit will allow the fleet to eliminate high petroleum engine idling to power the vehicle refrigeration units and switch to full battery electric power with renewable energy generation thru solar on-board the vehicles roof. If successfully demonstrated, this commercially available solution could be scaled to numerous refrigeration or other vehicles that idle to power peripheral equipment – eliminating large amounts of petroleum with renewable, battery electric power. Any guidance on whether this type of project would be eligible for funding under AOI 13 would be appreciated."
Answer 62: Please submit a concept paper to receive a recommendation from DOE regarding your proposed project.
Question 63: I have some questions regarding match requirements for AOI 14. Our project already has Federal CMAQ dollars committed; I presume, but want to confirm, that those cannot be used as match dollars for this DOE opportunity. Secondly, we have funds committed by our utility for building out the make ready infrastructure for our project; can those utility funds be used as matching dollars? If the answer is yes, and we used the utility funds as match for DOE, what additional requirements (if any) would be brought to bear on the utility’s portion of the project?
Answer 63:

Federal funds may not be used as cost share for this FOA.

Please see section III.B.iii of the FOA regarding allowable cost share.

Question 64: I have been contacted by a Faculty member at my university who is interested in being part of a team for this solicitation. However, he does not meet the US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident status to be a PI or Co-PI. He has inquired about being a part of the proposal in any capacity other than PI or Co-PI. It was my first instinct to say no, but felt it worth submitting the inquiry on his behalf.
Answer 64:

Typically the university is the legal applicant to the FOA, with the faculty member developing and preparing the application.  Regardless,  the proposed team members of the applicant project team, including the PI and co-PI, are not required to be U.S citizens or lawful permanent residents.  Team members who are foreign nationals may be required to provide information to DOE before being approved for access to DOE sites, information, technologies and personnel.  Please see section VI.B.iii (p.89) of the FOA for more information regarding foreign national access.

Question 65: 1. What projects and applicants have been competitive in the past? What organizations have won funding and how much were the awards? 2. What are examples of the “costs” that the award will fund?
Answer 65:

1. Applicants selected from prior FOAs and their associated funding may be found at https://www.energy.gov/eere/about-us/eere-news-releases

2. Please see 2 CFR 200 for more information regarding allowable costs.  It may be found at
https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/CFR-2014-title2-vol1/CFR-2014-title2-vol1-part200

Question 66: It appears that the document "SF-424: Application for Federal Assistance" with filename SF424_2_1-V2.pdf is not loaded properly. The PDF that I have downloaded twice from your site on two different computers seems to show a PDF error from the software that created the document.
Answer 66:

Please update to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this file. 

Question 67: "For the Concept paper. Can some of the information (e.g. Concept Summary) begin on the 1 page Cover page?"
Answer 67: The cover page should not include any technical content.  The technical description, including a summary of the project, is limited to a maximum of three pages. 
Question 68: I am working on a concept paper for AOI-10 on Enabling Vehicle and Infrastructure Connectivity. I am suggesting to develop a simulation platform that accounts for humans psychology/cognitive process in decision making in mixed traffic environments (connected vehicle, connected/autonomous vehicles, and human driven vehicles). The platform will also account for communication latency and will aim to realistically test energy consumption in mixed traffic environments. I wanted to know whether this proposed research fits in this call for AOI 10.
Answer 68:

Please submit a concept paper to receive a recommendation regarding your proposed concept.

Question 69: Can a Figure or schematic be placed on the cover page of the preproposal?
Answer 69:

The cover page should not include any technical content, including schematics or figures related to the proposed project.

Question 70: In VTO FOA 2197, AOI 14, Special Requirements for vehicles, states, "1. Electric Vehicles must be used 100% for the project scope" Does this mean that the project scope must rely 100% on electric vehicles? Or does it mean that any electric vehicles used in this project must be used only for this project? The latter interpretation would seem to preclude projects that involve EVs owned by independent driver-contractors who drive those vehicles for a TNC but also for personal use. Is that right?
Answer 70:

It means electric vehicles identified for the project may only be used for the project.

Question 71: 1. Could one person be a PI of two different projects which have different teams? 2. Could one person be a PI on one project and a Co-PI on another project? 3. Could one company be a recipient (role as Co-PI) of two different projects? 4. Could one company be a subrecipient of two different projects?
Answer 71:

1.  Yes.  The PI must have sufficient time to support both projects.
2.  Yes.  The individual must have sufficient time to support both projects.
3.  Yes.
4.  Yes.

Question 72: Could you please tell me where we can access Q&As submitted and answered on this FOA?
Answer 72:

The FAQ for this FOA may be accessed at https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FAQ.aspx?FoaId=0479e8d2-3ad8-4964-ab4b-b665b77029d5.

Question 73: "The city is planning on responding to one or more of the AOIs in FOA 0002197. We will be forming a project team with a technology company who has some concerns about the below copyright clause: “The prime recipient and subrecipients may assert copyright in copyrightable works, such as software, first produced under the award without EERE approval. When copyright is asserted, the Government retains a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and to perform publicly and display publicly the copyrighted work. This license extends to contractors and others doing work on behalf of the Government.” The above copyright requirement is not acceptable to the software vendor/partner. The software that will be used for this project is already developed. The partner will need to customize the software to get the desired results for the city. The Copyright section in the FOA document is not acceptable to the partner. Partner wants to continue to own the IP to the software since they have developed it over several years and incurred millions of dollars in cost using their deep domain knowledge of the energy industry. The proposed project would be similar to working with someone like Oracle, where the member organizations will use the grant funds to customize the Oracle software to do a proof of concept for the city to showcase the benefits that can be realized by the coalition of cities. This will act as a lighthouse project for the rest of the nation. But all rights to the software are retained by Oracle and the government cannot retain a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license."
Answer 73:

In this case where the software was developed outside of the project, the copyright and license terms for the government do not apply.  The software is considered "restricted computer software" which is defined as follows:  “Computer software developed at private expense and that is a trade secret, is commercial or financial, and confidential or privileged, or is published, copyrighted computer software, to include modifications of the computer software.”  If selected for negotiations potentially leading to award, the applicant would be required to identify the software as restricted computer software.  See section IV.E of the FOA for more information.  For more information on sample Intellectual Property Provisions, please visit https://www.energy.gov/gc/standard-intellectual-property-ip-provisions-financial-assistance-awards to review the applicable Intellectual Property Provision that will be in the resultant awards depending on the Area of Interest and the type of organization.  See also Sections VIII.J.-N. of the FOA.

Question 74: "We are a group of researchers who are planning to submit a concept paper to DoE EERE Call DE-FOA-0002197 Under AOI10: Enabling Vehicle and Infrastructure Connectivity. We have a clarifying question regarding the definition of ""connectivity"" within the context of this AOI: — Does the solicitation mean to research, develop, and validate vehicle connectivity methods such as DSRC and 5G with respect to applications that minimize energy? OR — can we assume a technology independent V2V/V2I connectivity to develop technology for reducing energy consumption and emissions and therein identify requirements for communications? With the vehicular technology and communications communities are still battling out the communication challenges (e.g., 5G vs DSRC), our proposed work might shed light into the communication requirements for achieving desired energy and emission reductions."
Answer 74:

Projects may utilize existing vehicle communications technology (e.g. DSRC, 5G) or propose new communications technology.  In either case, the project must research, demonstrate and validate vehicle connectivity to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Question 75: 1) If a baseline with lower voltage is acceptable, can the proposed system be also at the same voltage level? 2) If not and based on typical battery packs, a boost converter is typically needed to get to the 600 V levels, is this the assumption for the higher voltage systems?
Answer 75:

1) While the baseline system may be of a lower voltage, the proposed system should aim for meeting the targets described in the table.
2) The bus voltage is for drive system design only and it is not required to consider the voltage source, such as battery packs or boost converters.

Question 76: We are a group of researchers working on transportation and wireless communication. Regarding the FOA, we have a question about AOI 10 “Enabling Vehicle and Infrastructure Connectivity”: For AOI 10, we have a clarifying question regarding the definition of "connectivity" within the context of this solicitation: Does the solicitation mean to demonstrate the applications of traditional communication methods (DSRC, 5G, etc.), or we can go beyond those to explore other methods to enhance connectivity, such as exploiting the electromagnetic physical properties of the wireless signal (e.g., Bluetooth, cell phone, TPMS sensor signal, WiFi) to extract information that can be used to improve vehicle energy consumption? We believe that the latter way can significantly expand the sources of connectivity and can be applied to general vehicles (i.e., those not equipped with DSRC).
Answer 76:

Projects may utilize existing vehicle communications technology (e.g. DSRC, 5G) or propose new communications technology.  In either case, the project must research, demonstrate and validate vehicle connectivity to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Question 77: I have a question regarding the FY20_VTO_FOA0002197_Amemdment_000001. I noticed that you have the statement “An entity may submit more than one Full Concept Paper and one Full Application to this FOA,” My question is that I am leading on concept paper (I) from our university UF and join the other concept paper (II) leading by the other university. These two concept papers have interests on different AOIs. If both of them are accepted for full proposal submission, could I still submit the full proposal led by me from our university and also join the full proposal submission led and submitted by the other university? Or I have to give up one?
Answer 77:

An individual may be a team member on more than one application.  This includes serving as the PI on one application and a team member on another one.

Question 78: Can you confirm that the “Authorization from cognizant Contracting Officer” is not required from FFRDC partners at the concept paper phase?
Answer 78:

That is correct.  The authorization from the cognizant contracting officer is not required for concept papers, but is required at the full application stage.

Question 79: Our team is wondering whether logging trucks fall within the FOA’s classification in area 6a “Off-Road Vehicles”? The forestry industry is mentioned in area 6a, but it is unclear whether the FOA’s intent is toward on-site vehicles or would include vehicles with mixed operation modes (like logging trucks)?
Answer 79:

Logging trucks are not considered off-road vehicles in the context of this AOI.

Question 80: We are a private company and plan to apply for the "AOI 9: Improving Transportation System Efficiency Through Better Utilization" application. Do we need to partner with other companies from industry, transportation network companies, and/or National Laboratories for the concept paper submission?
Answer 80:

The applicant is not required to fully document the proposed team at the concept paper stage.  However, one of the evaluation criteria is "Whether the Principal Investigator (PI) and the Project Team have the skills and expertise needed to execute the project plan."  Lack of a team description in the Concept Paper may hinder DOE from fully evaluating your proposed project.

Question 81: I am writing to find out what the appropriate concept paper template is to follow for the DE-FOA-0002197 "Fiscal Year 2020 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research" funding opportunity announcement
Answer 81:

A Concept Paper Template is not available for this FOA.  Please see section IV.C (page 63) of the FOA for Concept Paper content and form requirements.

Question 82: Could you please clarify if electric vehicles qualify as eligible alternative fuel vehicles under AOI 13 in FOA-0002197?
Answer 82:

Yes, all alternative fuels listed at https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/, including electricity,  qualify under AOI 13 of the FOA.

Question 83: I’m hoping you might be able to answer a couple questions related to DOE FOA 0002197. First, will the DOE consider a Concept Paper under an AOI with a request for funding less than the DOE’s anticipated minimum award size for that area? Second, would DOE look favorably upon a Concept Paper that, while submitted under one AOI, also supports the goals of another AOI?
Answer 83:

1. The anticipated minimum award size identified for an AOI illustrates the minimum amount that DOE anticipates to fund awards selected under that specific AOI.  Applicants may propose projects that request less DOE funding than the anticipated minimum award size.

2. Concept papers and full applications for each AOI are reviewed independently of the other AOIs.


Question 84: One more question – is it possible to switch to another AOI for a full application after submitting a concept paper under one AOI?
Answer 84:

It is allowable, but not recommended, to submit a concept paper to one AOI and then submit the corresponding full application to a different AOI.

It is allowable, but not recommended, to submit a concept paper to one AOI and then submit the corresponding full application to a different AOI.

Question 85: My entity is planning to submit a concept paper in response to VTO FOA DE-FOA-0002197. We’ve obtained DUNS number and we’re in the process of SAM registration. Validation from IRS etc. is complete. We’re fully aware that in order to receive the award, the entity must be registered in SAM, among other requirements. My question is – if we’re unable to complete the SAM registration verification process before the concept paper deadline (Feb 21) then can we still submit the concept paper? We’re of course 100% confident that before submitting the final application (if encouraged) we’ll have completed the SAM registration. We also have the EERE account setup.
Answer 85:

SAM registration is encouraged but not required prior to submission of the concept paper.

Question 86: What reporting requirements (e.g. technical performance data) are required for natural gas and hydrogen projects under AOI 12?
Answer 86:

No special reporting requirements are required for AOI 12; however, the general reporting requirements including those found on page 93 of the FOA, apply.

Question 87: Regarding the term of “physical implementation and validation” in FOA, what level of implementation and validation is qualified for “physical”. For example, is hardware-in-the-loop (e.g., real vehicle integrated with simulation software) considered as “physical implementation and validation”?
Answer 87:

The “physical implementation and validation” should be whatever is appropriate for the proposed technology. If HIL is appropriate, it can be considered.

Question 88: Please see our two concepts below. Both of these focus on electrification, hybridization, connectivity, and automation. Because they are in the same area, we would like to submit only one. We have two teams that would support the different concepts. Each concept would have a different team and company (with a little overlap) involved. We need to formulate the team and start on the concept paper asap. Can you review the concepts and advise as to which concept better aligns with DOE’s RFP in this topic area? Any suggestions, guidance, information would be greatly appreciated!
Answer 88:

DOE will not provide recommendations regarding what projects to propose in the concept paper or full application process. 

Question 89: Some of our cost share partners are asking how much of the work for projects funded under AOI 5 or 6a needs to be openly reported. Can cost share partners report their work privately to DOE or does it all need to be reported openly? Our partners want to confirm their cost share contributions can remain proprietary.
Answer 89:

Please refer to Section VI.B.xi of the FOA regarding standard intellectual property provisions for financial assistance awards. These data protection provisions apply to tasks performed with both Federal and recipient cost share.  Project status reporting should not include any proprietary data or other information not subject to public release. Private reports will not be accepted.

Question 90: Can applicants use VW Settlement funds as match?
Answer 90:

Yes.  VW settlement funds, as non-federal funds, are allowable as cost share.



Question 91: We are interested in submitting a concept application for AOI 1B under Battery R&D. 1. We understand that the standard DOE financial assistance intellectual property provisions applicable to the various types of recipients are located at http://energy.gov/gc/standard-intellectual-property-ip-provisions-financial-assistance-awards. Please confirm which IP provisions apply for this particular grant. Is CDSB-115 the correct Set Number? 2. Regarding the performance targets listed below for AOI 1B, please help to clarify the following questions on how the targets are to be measured? a. What is the operating voltage range used to measure the cycle life with c/3 deep discharge? b. Please help to clarify more details on how the calendar life should be measured?
Answer 91:

The IP sets would depend on the type of organization applying (non-profit, small for-profit, or large for-profit).  Also, it would be depend if the organization wants to request EPAct Special Data Protection.

The operating voltage for cycle life will be determined by the developer. i.e. The developer will declare their Vmax and Vmin. These values will be used to determine the Specific Energy, Energy Density, as well as the C/3 cycling conditions.
Calendar life will be measured with the cells storage at Vmax. Cells will be subjected to the calendar life test described in United States Advanced Battery Consortium Battery Test Manual for Electric Vehicles:  https://www.uscar.org/guest/article_view.php?articles_id=86. The data from this test will be used to estimate calendar life. Procedures for this calculations can be found: https://www.uscar.org/guest/article_view.php?articles_id=659.

Question 92: Would the inclusion of an existing Fuel Cell technology into a new equipment type (e.g. moving from Light Duty to Medium/Heavy Duty vehicle) be an eligible project type under AOI 12? If a piece of equipment is manufactured overseas and shipped to the applicant (a US subsidiary), would the cost of the truck be an eligible cost under AOI 12?
Answer 92:

1. Fuel Cell Hydrogen vehicles qualify under AOI 12.

2. To the greatest extent practicable, all equipment and products purchased with funds made available under this FOA should be American-made. Regardless of the equipment's origin, the equipment cost may be allowable subject to the applicable federal cost principles.  Please see section IV.I.vi (p. 79) of the FOA for information regarding the purchase of materials and supplies and section IV.I.i (p.77) of the FOA regarding the allowability of costs.

Question 93: I'm working on a new two-stroke opposed-piston invention which I have not yet patented and I would like to know if what I submit for the initial application is submitted and kept in full confidentiality. Also, I am a single employee small start up company and I don't have the means to share 20% of a large amount. Can I offer my income as a contribution to the cost share for the project duration? Finally, for the initial deadline, are all the documents mandatory? Since I don't have very much time to the deadline, could you kindly indicate which one are absolutely necessary?
Answer 93:

Application information is treated as confidential.  Please read section VIII.D (p. 95-96) of the FOA for more information regarding the treatment of application information.

Personnel wages and salaries may be utilized as cost share for the project.

Question 94: If for the cost share it says 0%, N/A and N/A, does this mean we cannot have a cost share?
Answer 94:

The cost share table in Section III.B of the FOA describes the minimum cost share requirements for entities applying as the prime applicant.  The N/A means that type of entity is not eligible to apply to the topic, so the cost share is not applicable.

For example, in AOI 1a, eligibility is restricted to Universities and Colleges.  In this case, FFRDCs and all other types of entities are not allowed to apply as the prime applicant.  So the cost share for them is not applicable.  The 0% cost share for AOI 1a means neither the eligible university nor their subrecipients would be required to provide cost share.

Question 95: Our organization is planning to submit a concept paper under AOI 14. Under the section describing Applications Not of Interest, it notes "applications that include rebates or incentives." Does this mean that it would not be allowable to include applicable state rebates/incentives as part of the prime applicant's cost share, or is this simply noting that the project should not involve creating new incentives or rebates?
Answer 95:

Applications under AOI 14 that include rebates of any kind are not of interest.

Question 95: Our organization is planning to submit a concept paper under AOI 14. Under the section describing Applications Not of Interest, it notes "applications that include rebates or incentives." Does this mean that it would not be allowable to include applicable state rebates/incentives as part of the prime applicant's cost share, or is this simply noting that the project should not involve creating new incentives or rebates?
Answer 95:

Applications under AOI 14 that include rebates of any kind are not of interest.

Question 96: "1. Although no budget is required, from your FAQS sheet, I see that during submission, budget information IS required to process the application. If our team doesn't provide one, will the application process stop until we provide budget information? Can we save/submit without a budget? 2. Are biosketches required at the Concept Paper level? "
Answer 96:

1. Although the Concept Paper itself does not require budget information to be included, the EERE Exchange system will require applicants to enter a requested federal share and cost share.  These estimates may be changed when a full application is submitted.

2. Biosketechs or resumes are not required at the concept paper stage.

Question 97: I have completed word documents of two concept papers for FOA-0002197. I have a company, technology, lab, and team identified for the projects of the two concept papers. I have been working with some government lab(s) to discuss the concepts, and hope to submit today or early tomorrow, after I complete some details. I also noticed a web portal on EERE that seems to allow for inputs of team members, percentage contributions, etc. I am waiting to coordinate those answers with the full team. I was also told that there may be some way to submit concept papers as pdfs directly. If this is true, can I submit a pdf in some way? Or must this EERE portal be used and does it in fact generate a pdf or concept paper?
Answer 97:

All concept papers must be submitted through the EERE Exchange website and must be in pdf format.



Question 98: I have a few questions as to who can apply to the program. I understand that there is a certain level of qualification and experience expected from the applicants. Can the applicants apply as individuals or does it have to be as a company? Does one person need to be identified as the principle investigator or can it be multiple? Is the PI or other applicants that are part of the company required to work full time on the project? Can multiple people work part time on the project as well as have their existing full time jobs?
Answer 98:

1. Please see section III.A (p. 51) of the FOA for information regarding eligible applicants.

2. A single individual must be identified as the PI.

3. The prime applicant and team members are not required to devote 100% of their time to the project.  The work time to be committed by each team member must be described in the budget justification in the full application.

Question 99: I had a question about the FOA for the AOI 8: lightweight composites for vehicle applications. I was wondering what the percent distributions were for research and development? Is it 100% development of a component or split between research and development.
Answer 99:

There is no set distribution between research and development (as defined under 2CFR 200.87.)
Applicants should structure their approach to meet the AOI objectives, as appropriate for the level of maturity for their specific approach.”

There is no set distribution between research and development (as defined under 2CFR 200.87.)
Applicants should structure their approach to meet the AOI objectives, as appropriate for the level of maturity for their specific approach.”

Question 100: "I am trying to upload the concept paper. In the FOA it says 3 pages and can include figures, and must be a PDF file. But when I use the site, it only accepts .doc and no figures. What am I doing wrong?"
Answer 100:

This FOA (FY20 Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Funding Opportunity Announcement, DE-FOA-0002917) is configured to only accept pdfs for the concept paper.  Make sure you are attempting to upload your concept paper to the correct FOA in EERE Exchange.

Question 101: For Topic Area 5, non-engine technologies such as emissions treatment systems are listed. Can you confirm that the addition of a pneumatic power delivery system to a natural gas engine would also be eligible as it would also increase efficiency/reduce emissions?
Answer 101:

All engine technologies that increase medium and heavy-duty truck NG/LPG engine efficiencies will be considered. However, Systems that do not directly impact engine efficiency – e.g., improved tires – would not be considered within scope for this AOI.

Question 102: Are applications that include rebates or incentives acceptable for AOI 3? Would incentives paid under a project resulting from an AOI 3 application be an allowable cost for reimbursement?
Answer 102:

Rebates and incentives may be included in an AOI3 project, but rebates and incentives are not allowable as a project cost.

Question 103: "On page 55 of the FOA, in column with the heading “Cost Share for Universities and Non-Profits as Prime Applicant” for project 6a, the cost share is listed as 0%. The question is: Does that mean that the cost share for ALL partner organizations would have a cost share of 0% (including for-profit partners) or is the 0% only for the prime applicant University for that project? "
Answer 103:

For AOI 6a, if the prime applicant is eligible for the reduced cost share and performs at least 50% of the total project work, then the cost share for the entire project,  including team members is 0%.

Question 104: What is to be understood by “Lead Organization Percent” in the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange portal for submission of the concept paper? Additionally, is the percent listed there considered final and unalterable if a full application was to be submitted?
Answer 104:

The lead organization percent field in EERE Exchange is an estimate of the percentage of project work to be performed by the lead applicant.  This may be changed when the applicant submits a full application.

Question 105: Is the specified minimum grant $2.5 million mandatory or can it be lower for a project with proper merits?
Answer 105:

The anticipated minimum funding is a guideline to help applicants establish the scope of their project.  Applicants are free to submit a proposed project that requests less funding.

Question 106: Funding Opportunity DE-FOA-0002197 was recently brought to my attention and I was wondering if there was any flexibility with the submission deadline for concept papers?
Answer 106:

The deadline for concept paper submission cannot be extended.

The deadline for concept paper submission cannot be extended.

Question 107: "We are a startup focused in the field of Microgrids and Electrification of Transportation. We have been developing hardware and software solutions for this sector and have ongoing research partnerships with local universities as well as national labs like Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and National Renewable Energy Lab. We have multiple products that are exact match to the “Areas of Interest” of this FOA but, they are at different stages of development (prototype, fully functional alpha, etc.). My questions is to find out if this solicitation is the right one for further development of the product or is this one strictly for demonstration of an already complete product. Please let us know if there is any guidance available on that aspect and we will proceed accordingly."
Answer 107:

Please submit a concept paper to receive a DOE recommendation regarding your proposed project or technology.

Question 108: 1. Is a control number required for the concept paper and if so, how is it generated? 2. Do the formatting instructions for the application apply to the concept paper? If not, what are the formatting requirement for the concept paper?
Answer 108:

1. The control number is generated when the applicant logs into EERE Exchange and begins the Concept Paper submission process.  It may be included on the cover page of the Concept Paper or in the footer or header.

2. The formatting instructions for the Concept Paper and Full Application may be found in section IV.A (p. 62) of the FOA.

Question 109: We are a group of 4 DOE owned national laboratories planning to propose a project with no other contributors in AOI5. Our understanding is that our required cost share contribution will be 0%. Can you please confirm?
Answer 109:

For AOI 5, FFRDCs applying as the prime applicant and providing verification of their non-profit status are eligible for the reduced (0%)  project cost share provided they perform at least 50% of the project work as measured by the total project cost.  Please see section III.B (p.55-56) of Amendment 0002 of the FOA for more information.

Question 110: Our organization is planning on submitting a concept paper in response to FOA 0002197. We would like to ask about the eligibility requirements of the PI / Co-PI. The only information we were able to find in the FOA document regarding this was: "Whether the Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Team have the skill and expertise needed to successfully execute the project plan;" Is any minimum degree level required ? Are early-career / young researchers accepted / encouraged / discouraged ?
Answer 110:

No minimum degree is required and no applicant is encouraged/discouraged based on their career level.  However, DOE will evaluate the skill and expertise of the PI and the project team.  Applicants must ensure that the Technical Qualifications and Resources section of the Technical Volume clearly support the relevant qualifications of the PI and the Project Team.   

Question 111: Does an entity need to be registered on Sam.gov to submit a concept paper? Or do you only need to have a completed registration for the full application?
Answer 111:

Registration in SAM, Grants.gov and Fedconnect is not required to submit a concept paper.  However, it is recommended that applicants register at these sites as soon as possible given the time it takes to complete the registrations.

Registration in SAM, Grants.gov and Fedconnect is not required to submit a concept paper.  However, it is recommended that applicants register at these sites as soon as possible given the time it takes to complete the registrations.

Question 112: "I am submitting on behalf of our University, and have asked for 10% for a National Lab (this part not a problem). I also included (20%) to the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) for larger scale testing (also not a problem). The question I have is that we (myself and another professor) have a start-up company that really only has patents. Can I/should I include that company to do commercialization, or is that not appropriate?"
Answer 112: It is solely up to the applicant to determine the make-up of the project team.
Question 113: "May I know what time tomorrow is the deadline for the submission of the Concept Paper under the VTO-FOA-0002197? Sorry, if the details are mentioned in the FoA and if I am missing it. Thanking all in advance, Sincerely and with regards, "
Answer 113:

Concept papers are due at 5:00 pm EST on 2/21/2020.



Question 114: "Our office is preparing a concept paper to submit for AOI 14 for the DOE FOA number 0002197. We have approximately 8 partners who have expressed support for the project and have committed to assisting should it move forward. Can we include a one page letter of support from each partner beyond the 4 pages allowed (cover page and technical description)? Or should we list them in the body of the concept paper?"
Answer 114:

The concept paper is limited to a cover page and 3 pages of content, so letters of support should not be included.  It is acceptable to list the proposed team in the content section of the concept paper.

Question 115: Does the Concept Paper require an abstract?
Answer 115:

The concept paper does not require an abstract.

Question 116: I am assisting a research team in applying, as the lead, from a State university to AOI #1a. Our percentage of the effort is estimated to be 40%. Does our application have any requirement for cost sharing? If so, at what percentage of total project costs
Answer 116:

For AOI 1a, a university must perform at least 50% of the project work to be eligible for the reduced cost share of 0%.

Question 117: In section III.E of the FOA document it states that for FFRDCs to be sub recipients on the proposed project, an authorization must be submitted with the application. Is this referring to the full application or the concept paper or both?
Answer 117:

The FFRDC authorization must be submitted with the full application.

Question 118: Does the concept paper require the submitter not to be the PI? Or does the university business office have to submit the concept paper?
Answer 118:

Submission is up to the discretion of the submitting organization. 

Submission is up to the discretion of the submitting organization.