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Recommendation. Because of the potential for near-zero tailpipe emissions and high energy efficiency of the fuel cell, the PNGV should continue research and development efforts on fuel cells even though achievement of performance and cost targets will have to be extended substantially beyond original expectations.

Recommendation. Because affordability is a key requirement of the 2004 production-prototype vehicles, the committee believes that more attention should be paid to the design and manufacturing techniques being worked on by the American Iron and Steel Institute in the Ultralight Steel Auto Body Advanced Vehicle Concept project. These techniques should be applied to aluminum-intensive vehicles, as well as hybrid-material body construction. More broadly, the committee urges a systematic, critical examination of the prospects to achieve cost goals for all key vehicle subsystems and components.

Recommendation. High priority should be given to determining what fuel sulfur level will permit the preferred compression-ignition direct-injection (CIDI) engine and its after-treatment system to meet all regulatory and warranty requirements. An enhanced cooperative effort between the auto and petroleum industries should be undertaken to ensure that the fuels needed commercially will be available on a timely basis.

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