BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Bentonville startup FR8relay will receive $206,468 in a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to a May 24 press release, the department awarded 259 grants totaling $53 million to 210 small businesses in 38 states. The awards include projects relating to “particle accelerators and fusion technology, applied nanoscience, quantum information applications, and dark matter research, along with a wide range of other efforts.”

“Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said Steve Binkley, Acting Director of the DOE’s Office of Science.

FR8relay will receive $206,468 under the subtopic: Vehicle Technologies – Energy Efficiency in Emerging Mobility Systems (EEMS): Developing and Applying Novel Mobility Solutions for Underserved and Disadvantaged Communities. This topic area specifically calls upon small businesses developing and applying “novel mobility technology solutions that increase energy productivity for individuals and businesses.”

The press release states that “the nation relies on trucking to move 72.5% of its freight, but the current model of long-haul trucking leads to wasted emissions, wasted fuel, wasted capacity, and an untenable job for truck drivers creating a human capacity gap.”

FR8relay’s novel relay mobility solution could reduce emissions, increase mobility energy productivity, and increase truck utilization, while vastly improving truck driving jobs and creating economic development opportunities for economically distressed communities.

For the Phase I award in this subtopic area, the DOE seeks innovations that optimize the overall
transportation system, while more broadly addressing the needs of traditionally underserved and
disadvantaged communities. Furthermore, it states that “Actualizing a national goal of net-zero carbon emissions hinges on communities exercising agency in the integration of innovative technologies.”