Summary

The amount of fuel consumed annually by heavy-duty trucks and buses has more than doubled over the past 35 years and now accounts for 21 percent of the total surface-transportation fuel used in the United States (DOE, EERE, 2005). Improving the fuel economy of trucks and reducing emissions to help meet environmental goals have become significant issues in the United States as well as in Europe and Asia.

Worldwide oil consumption has risen rapidly in the past few years, mainly owing to rapid economic growth. This increased demand has resulted in a rapid rise in oil prices even though production capacity has kept pace with demand and is expected to exceed demand in 2009. With the United States being very dependent on imported oil, this increase in price has put a strain on the U.S. economy. As a consequence, the nation is pursuing alternative sources for fuel and attempting to increase efficiency in oil usage.

The 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP), a cooperative research and development (R&D) partnership formed by four federal agencies with 15 industrial partners, was launched in the year 2000 with high hopes that it would dramatically advance the technologies used in trucks and buses, yielding a cleaner, safer, more efficient generation of vehicles. The Partnership was at first under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD; specifically, the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research and Development Command). In November 2002, leadership of the Partnership passed from the Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Within DOE, the operational responsibility for the Partnership is assigned to the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, which organizes meetings and conference calls, maintains the information-flow infrastructure (such as Web sites and e-mail lists), and has led the discussions for and preparation of the updated version of the 2006 21CTP roadmap and technical white papers (DOE, 2006), which together lay out Partnership goals.

The management of specific projects under the 21CTP umbrella rests with the individual federal agencies that have funded the work. These agencies use the 21CTP information-sharing infrastructure to coordinate efforts and ensure that valuable research results are communicated and that any overlap of activities is reduced.

As described in the 21CTP roadmap and technical white papers, the general goal of the 21st Century Truck Partnership is to “reduce fuel usage and emissions while increasing heavy vehicle safety. The purpose of the Partnership is to support research, development, and demonstration that enable achieving these goals with commercially viable products and systems.” The vision of the Partnership is “that our nation’s trucks and buses will safely and cost-effectively move larger volumes of freight and greater numbers of passengers while emitting little or no pollution and dramatically reducing the dependency on foreign oil” (DOE, 2006, p. 1).

In support of its general goal and vision, the Partnership carries out research in these areas of technology:

  • Integrated vehicle systems for commercial and military trucks and buses;

  • Engine-combustion, exhaust aftertreatment, fuels, and advanced materials to achieve higher efficiency and lower emissions;

  • Heavy-duty hybrid propulsion systems;

  • Reduction of parasitic losses to achieve significantly reduced energy consumption;

  • Technologies to improve truck safety, resulting in the reduction of fatalities and injuries in truck-involved crashes; and

  • Technologies that reduce energy consumption and exhaust emissions during idling.

STATEMENT OF TASK

In response to a request from the director of the DOE’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, the National Research Council formed the Committee to Review the 21st Century Truck Partnership (see Appendix A for bio-



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summary The amount of fuel consumed annually by heavy-duty funded the work. These agencies use the 21CTP informa- trucks and buses has more than doubled over the past tion-sharing infrastructure to coordinate efforts and ensure 35 years and now accounts for 21 percent of the total surface- that valuable research results are communicated and that any transportation fuel used in the United States (DOE, EERE, overlap of activities is reduced. 2005). Improving the fuel economy of trucks and reducing As described in the 21CTP roadmap and technical white emissions to help meet environmental goals have become papers, the general goal of the 21st Century Truck Partner- significant issues in the United States as well as in Europe ship is to “reduce fuel usage and emissions while increasing and Asia. heavy vehicle safety. The purpose of the Partnership is to sup- Worldwide oil consumption has risen rapidly in the past port research, development, and demonstration that enable few years, mainly owing to rapid economic growth. This achieving these goals with commercially viable products and increased demand has resulted in a rapid rise in oil prices systems.” The vision of the Partnership is “that our nation’s even though production capacity has kept pace with demand trucks and buses will safely and cost-effectively move larger and is expected to exceed demand in 2009. With the United volumes of freight and greater numbers of passengers while States being very dependent on imported oil, this increase emitting little or no pollution and dramatically reducing the in price has put a strain on the U.S. economy. As a conse- dependency on foreign oil” (DOE, 2006, p. 1). quence, the nation is pursuing alternative sources for fuel and In support of its general goal and vision, the Partnership attempting to increase efficiency in oil usage. carries out research in these areas of technology: The 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP), a coopera- tive research and development (R&D) partnership formed by • Integrated vehicle systems for commercial and military four federal agencies with 15 industrial partners, was launched trucks and buses; in the year 2000 with high hopes that it would dramatically • Engine-combustion, exhaust aftertreatment, fuels, and advance the technologies used in trucks and buses, yield- advanced materials to achieve higher efficiency and ing a cleaner, safer, more efficient generation of vehicles. lower emissions; The Partnership was at first under the leadership of the U.S. • Heavy-duty hybrid propulsion systems; Department of Defense (DOD; specifically, the U.S. Army • Reduction of parasitic losses to achieve significantly Tank-Automotive Research and Development Command). In reduced energy consumption; November 2002, leadership of the Partnership passed from • Technologies to improve truck safety, resulting in the the Department of Defense to the U.S. Department of Energy reduction of fatalities and injuries in truck-involved (DOE). Within DOE, the operational responsibility for the crashes; and Partnership is assigned to the Office of FreedomCAR and • Technologies that reduce energy consumption and Vehicle Technologies, which organizes meetings and con- exhaust emissions during idling. ference calls, maintains the information-flow infrastructure (such as Web sites and e-mail lists), and has led the discus- sTaTemeNT oF TasK sions for and preparation of the updated version of the 2006 21CTP roadmap and technical white papers (DOE, 2006), In response to a request from the director of the DOE’s which together lay out Partnership goals. Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies, the The management of specific projects under the 21CTP National Research Council formed the Committee to Review umbrella rests with the individual federal agencies that have the 21st Century Truck Partnership (see Appendix A for bio- 

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 REVIEW OF THE ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP graphical information on committee members). The commit- highest priority in those particular areas. The latter retain tee was asked to fulfill the following statement of task: their original numbering to help the reader gain context by going to the original discussions. The committee will conduct an independent review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. In its review, the committee Overall Report Finding 1-1. The key benefit of the 21CTP will critically examine and comment on the overall adequacy is the coordination of research programs directed toward the and balance of the 21st Century Truck Partnership to accom- goal of reducing fuel usage and emissions while increas- plish its goals, on progress in the program, and make recom- ing heavy vehicle safety. Federal involvement is bringing mendations, as appropriate, that the committee believes can stakeholders to the table and accelerating the pace of devel- improve the likelihood of the Partnership meeting its goals. opment. Very few U.S. manufacturers of trucks and buses In particular, the committee will: or heavy-duty vehicle components have the R&D resources to develop new technologies individually. Thus, the 21CTP 1. Review the high-level technical goals, targets, and time- is giving some of those companies access to extraordinary tables for R&D efforts, which address such areas as heavy expertise and equipment in federal laboratories, in addi- vehicle systems; hybrid electric propulsion; advanced internal combustion engines (ICEs); and materials tion to seed funding that draws financial commitment from technologies. the companies to push forward in new technology areas. 2. Review and evaluate progress and program directions The Partnership provides the United States with a forum since the inception of the Partnership toward meeting in which the various agencies, in combination with indus- the Partnership’s technical goals, and examine ongoing try and academia, can better coordinate their programs. research activities and their relevance to meeting the Research funding of the 21CTP has been declining steadily goals of the Partnership. in recent years, and this decline is threatening the attainment 3. Examine and comment on the overall balance and ade- of program goals. The current level is not in proportion to quacy of the 21st Century Truck Partnership’s research the importance of the goal of reducing fuel consumption of effort, and the rate of progress, in light of the technical heavy-duty vehicles. objectives and schedules for each of the major technology areas. Overall Report Recommendation 1-1. The 21st Century 4. Examine and comment, as necessary, on the appropriate role for federal involvement in the various technical areas Truck Partnership should be continued, but the future under development. program should be revised and better balanced based on 5. Examine and comment on the Partnership’s strategy for the recommendations of this report. In addition, more accomplishing its goals, which might include such issues manufacturers should be recruited as participants, such as as (a) program management and organization; (b) the the major truck manufacturers and suppliers that are not in process for setting milestones, research directions, and the Partnership. Research funding should be commensurate making Go/No Go decisions; (c) collaborative activities with well-formulated goals that are strategic to reducing within DOE, other government agencies, the private fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles while improving sector, universities, and others; and (d) other topics that safety. The 21CTP should also conduct an assessment of the committee finds important to comment on related to heavy-truck research activities overseas and determine if any the success of the program to meet its technical goals. changes in the future program would be appropriate based After examining the 21st Century Truck Partnership on foreign programs. activities and receiving presentations from federal gov- ernment representatives and industry representatives, and Overall Report Finding 1-2. Many of the program goals outside experts, as appropriate, the committee will write a were not met, because some of the goals were not plau- report documenting its review of the Partnership with recom- sible, from either an engineering or a funding perspective. mendations for improvement, as necessary. Other goals were not met because some of the technologies proposed for meeting the goals were not applied. Notable maJor FiNdiNGs aNd recommeNdaTioNs failures of that kind are discussed in Chapter 3, under the headings “Goal of Thermal Efficiency of 55 Percent” and The 21CTP has had a number of successful programs “Goals Involving Fuels.” since its beginnings in 2000. These efforts are discussed in this report. The major findings relate to the most important Overall Report Recommendation 1-2. A clearer goal- aspects of the program and the recommendations to the setting strategy should be developed, and the goals should be highest-priority requirements for change. The committee’s clearly stated in measurable engineering terms and reviewed findings and recommendations include 2 pairs of “overall,” periodically so as to be based on the available funds. or general, findings and recommendations and 13 pairs that are selected from individual Chapters 2 through 7, as the

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 SUMMARY management strategy and Priority setting of project priorities (Figure 2-5) would provide an objective way of ranking research and development projects accord- Finding 2-1. The 21CTP is operated as a virtual network ing to their expected outcomes. This could evolve into a of agencies and government laboratories, with an unwieldy budgeting process that ensures support for programs of merit structure and budgetary process. Agency personnel meet beyond a single year. Precompetitive, collaborative technol- frequently and industry partners meet periodically for lim- ogy and concept development could receive proper focus for ited sharing and communication. This has been the extent successful programs. of the coordination. Both government agencies and industry partners, per their remarks to the committee, have found the engine systems and Fuels arrangement less than effective. The program was most pro- ductive when a full-time person from industry was assigned Finding 3-1. Although DOE has concluded that the 50 per- to coordinate the cross-agency efforts. cent thermal efficiency goal has been achieved, the experi- Oversight of the 21CTP is provided through an Execu- mental test results show that none of the industry partners tive Committee with representation from DOE, DOT (the achieved the goal of 50 percent thermal efficiency at 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation), EPA (the U.S. Environ- emissions standards with a complete engine system. Each mental Protection Agency), DOD, and the industry partners. partner either failed to test a complete engine system on an Although that committee lacks authority to make cross- engine dynamometer and used analysis to project results or agency decisions and implement firm actions, it has been failed to achieve 50 percent thermal efficiency at 2010 emis- most effective when chaired by a full-time executive. This sions standards with a complete system. Details of the ana- seemed to be an effective measure to ensure cooperation lytical projections were proprietary and were not provided to among agencies and address program challenges. the committee. Moreover, the work that was accomplished was at the intrinsically more efficient peak torque condition Recommendation 2-1. A full-time, technically capable rather than at an engine speed and load representative of leader with consensus-building skills should be appointed to 65 mile per hour (mph) road load. coordinate the 21CTP program among industry partners and government agencies. This person could chair the Executive Recommendation 3-1. Objective and consistent criteria Committee and would be authorized to make recommenda- should be used to assess the success or failure of achieving tions to the committee on behalf of the entire program on a key goal of the 21CTP such as the attainment of 50 percent stopping or redirecting existing research, on setting research thermal efficiency. Detailed periodic technical reviews of priorities, and on future funding levels. progress against the program plan should be conducted so that deficiencies can be identified early and corrective actions Finding 2-2. As confirmed in meetings with the DOE and implemented to ensure success in accomplishing program other agencies, there is no single source of funds for the goals. DOE should continue to work toward demonstrating 21CTP, as perhaps intended by its creators. Instead, each of 50 percent thermal efficiency at the peak efficiency condition the four agencies has its own stream of funds. DOE, DOT, as well as at a representative 65-mph road load engine speed DOD, and EPA budget and optimize funding based on their and torque condition. DOE should also consider reducing own priorities. In addition, they maintain funding to compa- the number of industry contracts on specific engine projects nies with multiyear cooperative agreements. Thus, managing that are funded so that only the engine systems most likely the 21CTP program and projects across multiple agencies to meet the goal, based on system modeling and analytical has been challenging, and there have been difficulties in projections, will be developed and tested experimentally. setting program priorities, especially in aligning budgets to programmatic requirements. A result has been difficulty in Finding 3-8. DOE is shifting prematurely to component balancing between near- and long-term projects and setting research to support the 2013 stretch goal of 55 percent appropriate metrics and measures. In addition, variation in thermal efficiency before completely demonstrating the ear- funding levels from year to year has diminished the impact lier 2010 goal of 50 percent. Importantly, after analyzing the of project achievements and results and reduced the prob- results of the lengthy and extensive efforts carried out in the ability of success and commercialization. The result of this area of low-temperature combustion (LTC), it is considered complexity and lack of transparency is that some federal unlikely that this technology will be a successful enabler funds were spent by industry partners and by other federal of the 55 percent stretch goal at any time in the near term agencies in ways that cannot be accounted for in the funding because it cannot be adequately controlled over the full range structure by fiscal year. of operating conditions of heavy-duty engines and has not demonstrated inherent fuel-consumption advantages. Based Recommendation 2-2. A portfolio management process on the open literature, the chances for success of LTC as a that sets priorities and aligns budgets among the agencies practical technology appear limited. and industrial partners is recommended. A proposed table

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 REVIEW OF THE ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP Recommendation 3-8. DOE should complete the demon- buses, albeit with major governmental subsidies. Despite the stration of the 50 percent thermal efficiency goal before promising progress, significant hurdles still remain to achiev- embarking on the 55 percent goal. With respect to ongoing ing the fuel economy improvement targets for a broader work on low-temperature combustion, DOE should objec- range of heavy-duty hybrid vehicle (HHV) applications, tively analyze the potential viability of this combustion reducing the cost, and improving HHV reliability sufficiently concept for heavy-duty engine applications, recognizing the to achieve broader commercial success. In addition, there are many issues that would need to be resolved to achieve com- opportunities for achieving significant system-level improve- mercial viability. ments that would make HHVs more attractive to original equipment manufacturers and users, such as the merging Finding 3-13. It is unlikely that the goal of identifying and of hybrid propulsion and idle reduction features, including validating nonpetroleum fuel formulations, optimized for use start-stop operation and creeping under all-electric power. in advanced combustion engines, will be achieved by 2010. Recommendation 4-6. Development and demonstration of DOE’s nonpetroleum fuels effort is focused on resolving biodiesel operational issues and commercialization barriers, heavy-duty hybrid truck technology should be continued but DOE did not provide a timetable for successful resolution as part of the 21CTP program in order to reduce barriers of these efforts. DOE is also investigating oil sands and shale to commercialization. These development projects should oil as other sources of petroleum fuel replacement. DOE did include efforts to capitalize on opportunities for system- not present a plan for 5 percent replacement of petroleum level improvements made possible by HHV technology in fuels. The Renewable Fuels Standard of the Energy Policy order to extract the maximum possible value from any new Act of 2005 is likely to have a role in accelerating the avail- hybridized propulsion equipment that is installed in future ability of nonpetroleum fuels. trucks and buses. Recommendation 3-13. DOE should continue to work Finding 4-7. Progress in the development of HHV technol- with biodiesel developers and users to ensure compatibility ogy under the 21CTP program has been hindered by the when biodiesel is blended with conventional diesel fuel decision to focus on component-level technology rather and problem-free use of biodiesel fuels in diesel engines. than systems. Successful development and commercializa- Successful deployment will require resolving operational tion of HHV technology require coordinated, customized issues and updating the biofuel specifications. Development development of the combustion engine, electrical/hydraulic of refining technology to make acceptable diesel from shale drive equipment, mechanical powertrain, and controls as oil or tar sands is not high-risk research suitable for federal components of an integrated system, in order to realize its funding and should be left to the private sector. DOE should full potential. In addition, the coordination of HHV project develop specific plans, including key actions and timetables, activities among the 21CTP’s federal partners (DOD, EPA, for 5 percent replacement of petroleum fuels. and DOE) has not matched the level achieved in other 21CTP programs such as nighttime idle reduction, making it more difficult to achieve ambitious HHV technology targets. heavy-duty hybrid Vehicles Finding 4-1. Challenges with lithium-ion anode/cathode Recommendation 4-7. Coordination of all 21CTP heavy- materials and chemical stability under high power condi- duty hybrid truck development and demonstration activities tions will likely preclude achieving the 15-year durability should be strengthened across components, programs, and targets by 2012. agencies to maximize the system benefits of this technology and to accelerate its successful deployment in commercial Recommendation 4-1. Much closer interaction between trucks and buses. In addition to improved cross-agency military and commercial suppliers is recommended to coordination, HHV stakeholder-based organizations includ- identify the highest-priority areas for further research in an ing the Validation Working Group and the Hybrid Truck attempt to expedite the development of commercially viable Users Forum should be engaged more aggressively to assist battery or battery/ultracapacitor systems that can accomplish in identifying and overcoming key hurdles to the successful the unique high-power needs of heavy-duty vehicles. commercialization of HHV technology. Finding 4-6. R&D on heavy-duty hybrid trucks and buses Finding 4-8. Emissions of heavy-duty trucks are currently has demonstrated significant progress, achieving 35 to measured and certified by EPA for each engine type rather 47 percent fuel economy improvements in hybrid-electric than for any truck as a complete unit. Current procedures do delivery vans and urban buses, with specialized applications not allow either the fuel economy or emissions of complete and the hydraulic hybrid delivery van in the 50 to 70 percent hybrid propulsion systems to be certified, and so neither the range (60 percent is the present 21CTP target). Commercial fuel economy improvements nor emissions reductions of success has already been achieved with hybrid electric urban hybrid trucks are appropriately recognized. Prior to mid-

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 SUMMARY 2007, these procedures served as deterrents to commercial- and DOT. Several important lines of research are carried ization of HHV technology since there was no practical way on in the 21CTP. In addition, the EPA SmartWay Transport for truck purchasers to derive any direct tax credits for buying Partnership voluntary program is effective at promoting the hybrid trucks as called for in the U.S. Energy Policy Act of use of electrified parking spaces. The 21CTP, in cooperation 2005, which expires in 2009. Developing the necessary test with several major shippers, has demonstrated a number of procedures is expected to be a complex and lengthy process, cost-effective technologies (such as fuel-fired cab heaters and EPA has not been able to devote sufficient resources to and coolers) that are being used by existing fleets. (One fleet developing such procedures in a timely manner.1 is installing more than 6,000 heaters, and another is install- ing more than 7,000.) One trucking company reported that Recommendation 4-8. Since tax credits for hybrid trucks diesel-fired heaters provided 2.4 percent fuel savings and a established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 expire at the payback in less than 2 years at $2.40 per gallon. end of 2009, and there are not established engineering test Recommendation 6-1. The 21CTP should continue to procedures, DOE should work with EPA and stakeholders to accelerate the development of fuel economy and emissions support R&D for the technologies that reduce idle time certification procedures for heavy-duty hybrid vehicles so and address the remaining technical challenges (including that the actual benefits of hybridization can be recognized California emission requirements, completely integrated and rewarded to further encourage commercial adoption. APU/HVAC [auxiliary power unit/heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning] systems, and creep devices). Parasitic losses of energy safety of heavy Vehicles Finding 5-1. The More Electric Truck program demon- Finding 7-1. The DOE program director of the 21st Century strated an integrated system to reduce idling emissions and fuel consumption. The test program showed significant Truck Partnership has no direct authority for heavy-duty progress toward achieving the objectives of both Goal 2 truck safety projects because there is no budget in the pro- in Chapter 5 (“Develop and demonstrate technologies that gram itself to support safety projects. The program manager reduce essential auxiliary loads by 50 percent, from the cur- will need to continue to work with DOT, because DOT has rent 20 hp to 10 hp, for Class 8 tractor-trailers”) and Goal 6 in several initiatives with the goal of making improvements in Chapter 6 (“Produce by 2012 a truck with a fully integrated heavy-duty truck safety. They range from driver education idling-reduction system to reduce component duplication, to accident avoidance technology. However, the committee weight, and cost”). It did so by demonstrating 1 to 2 percent was unable to determine whether the goals would be met as estimated reduction in fuel use including significant truck a result of these initiatives. idling reductions. According to DOE, this translates into an Recommendation 7-1. DOT should develop a complete and overall annual fuel savings for the U.S. fleet of 710 million to 824 million gallons of diesel fuel (about $2 billion per comprehensive list of current and planned heavy-duty truck year at $2.75 per gallon). safety projects and initiatives, and prioritize them in order of potential benefit in reducing heavy-duty truck-related Recommendation 5-1. Given the potential of this program fatalities. The list should provide quantitative projections of to save fuel, the committee recommends that the 21CTP fatality reduction potential attributable to each project. The continue the R&D of the identified system components list should also be used to prioritize budget and resource that will provide additional improvements in idle reduction allocations, in order to expedite heavy-duty truck safety and parasitic losses related to engine components that are progress. more efficient and provide better control of energy use. The Finding 7-2. Programs are underway to develop and imple- program should focus also on the cost-effectiveness of the technologies. ment technologies and vehicle systems to support safety goals. Indeed, private industry, through internal research and commercial product development, has produced commer- engine idle reduction cially available systems for enhanced braking, roll stability, Finding 6-1. Idle reduction is one of the most effective and lane departure warning. They are beginning to be used ways to reduce pollutant emissions (especially locally) and in the field. It is now important to determine to what extent improve fuel economy. As a result of the Energy Policy Act these accident avoidance technologies will reduce the num- of 2005, the authority for this effort now rests with EPA ber of accidents and therefore fatalities and injuries. Recommendation 7-2. DOT should continue programs in 1Note added in proof—Currently, EPA is developing a procedure to support of heavy-duty truck onboard safety systems, with directly measure fuel economy and emissions of complete heavy-duty an emphasis on accident avoidance and with priorities set vehicles, including hybrids.

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 REVIEW OF THE ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP by a comprehensive potential cost/benefit analysis (Recom- With adequate field data, DOT should refine and more rig- mendation 7-1). Particular emphasis should be placed on orously specify and prioritize goals for accident avoidance monitoring the accident experience of heavy-duty trucks as technologies. these systems begin to be deployed in the field (for example, as electronic stability control systems begin to penetrate the reFereNces fleet). It is the role of the manufacturers to develop safety DOE (U.S. Department of Energy), EERE (Office of Energy Efficiency and systems for commercial application. DOT can play important Renewable Energy). 2005. Transportation Energy Data Book, 25th ed. roles in (1) providing support for field tests (known to DOT Chapter 2. Washington, D.C.: DOE, EERE. Available at http://cta.ornl. as field operational tests), (2) monitoring field data to help gov/data/chapter2.shtml. Accessed May 12, 2008. substantiate benefit analyses used to prioritize resources, DOE. 2006. 21st Century Truck Partnership Roadmap and Technical White and (3) implementing regulations that would require the Papers. Doc. No. 21CTP-003. Washington, D.C. December. adoption of safety systems that were proved to be effective.