The mission of the Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC) is to develop fundamental and enabling technologies that will facilitate the electric power industry to actively manage and control large amount of plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) and plug-in electric vehicle (PEV). ATEC will also develop battery and power electronics technologies to help the automobile industry develop better and more efficient PHEVs and PEVs, hence allowing our nation to move away from gasoline based vehicles. ATEC will also educate the public about the advantages of PHEV and PEV through its outreach program in collaboration with industry sponsors.

ATEC was created in May 2008 after the announcement in February 2008 at the Emerging Issues Forum as a public-private partnership that would draw initial funding from both the state and its two major utilities, Progress Energy and Duke Energy. Drawing upon the high level of synergy in mission between the sister organization, the NSF funded Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) systems center, ATEC became a part of the FREEDM Systems Center in April 2009.