Eaton is working on a way to reduce the size of batteries used in hybrid vehicles ranging from passenger cars to commercial vehicles, without compromising battery life or vehicle performance in hybrid vehicles.

The $2.8 million project is funded jointly between Eaton and a grant from the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy. The goal is to reduce the size of the battery by 50% and improve the total performance of the system and its charge rate while maintaining fuel economy and overall vehicle performance.

The development project will be led by Eaton's Innovation Center team in Southfield, Mich., working with a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The project will use Eaton's expertise in intelligent power management systems and hybrid technology and NREL's expertise in battery modeling and prognostics.

"This type of grant is designed to fund highly transformative technologies, and Eaton and ARPA-E believe this technology is a true game changer in the area of hybrid power management," said Chris Roche, Eaton's vice president, Innovation Center, Corporate Technology.

This is the second ARPA-E grant that Eaton has received within the past month. The other project was a $3.4 million grant to develop affordable home refueling stations for natural gas vehicles. Eaton also has received Department of Energy grants in the past 12 months for the development of technologies for compressed natural gas, research on waste heat recovery for commercial vehicles, and fuel cell expander research.