The Center for Electric Drive Transportation (CEDT) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn was established in 2011 with a grant from the U. S. Department of Energy's Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Program.

The GATE Program was first established in 1998 with 5 centers. 2011 marked the third generation of 7 GATE Centers:

  • University of Michigan - Dearborn
  • Purdue University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Clemson University
  • The University of Colorado & Colorado Springs
  • University of Alabama

DOE's GATE initiative will award $6.4 million over the course of 5 years to support those 7 Centers of Excellence at American colleges, universities, and university-affiliated research institutions. The awardees will focus on 3 critical automotive technology areas: hybrid propulsion, energy storage, and lightweight materials. By funding curriculum development and expansion as well as laboratory work, GATE allows higher education institutions to develop multidisciplinary training. As a result, GATE promotes the development of a skilled workforce of engineering professionals who will overcome technical barriers and help commercialize the next generation of advanced automotive technologies.