A
Statement of Task

The committee will conduct an assessment of fuel economy technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Section 108, the study is to develop a report evaluating medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fuel economy standards. Based on the language in Section 108, the NRC committee formed to carry out this study will address the following tasks, all of which will be discussed with the DOT/NHTSA representatives, as well as any relevant Congressional staff, at the committee’s first meeting. The purpose of these discussions will bring the benefit of the expertise of the committee to bear on what information and data could be made available to the committee, which will determine the extent to which the tasks can be addressed. Thus, the committee will:

  1. consider appropriate approaches to measuring fuel economy for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that would be required for setting standards. Given the diversity of vehicles and applications, consideration of classification of vehicles will likely be required in this review. In addition, the committee will likely have to work with DOT/NHTSA, EPA, and others, as appropriate, to identify a reasonable approach, which would then lay the basis for what technologies to consider for potential improved fuel economy.

  2. assess current and potential technologies and estimate improvements in fuel economy for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks that might be achieved. The committee will need to decide on what time frame is appropriate to consider for the technology assessment. In addition, the committee should try to estimate the costs of technologies for fuel economy improvements. Costs may be difficult to estimate given the proprietary nature of the business and an approach may need to be worked out with NHTSA/DOT and the industry to collect information that would provide the committee with enough confidence in estimating a range of costs.

  3. an analysis of how the technologies identified in Task 2 above may be used practically to improve medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fuel economy. This will likely entail a discussion by the committee of barriers, time frames, competitive pressures, and other factors that may inhibit or accelerate the adoption of technologies for improved fuel economy.

  4. an analysis of how such technologies may be practically integrated into the medium-duty and heavy-duty truck manufacturing process. Again, the committee will likely identify barriers, timing, competitive pressures, and other factors that may inhibit or accelerate the practical implementation into the manufacturing of the various vehicles under consideration.

  5. an assessment of how such technologies may be used to meet fuel economy standards to be prescribed under section 32902(k) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this subtitle.

  6. identify the potential costs and other impacts on the operation of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. For those technologies that can be integrated into the design of engines, vehicles, and trailers, it is likely that the committee would focus on any incremental costs and whether there are any special requirements for these technologies that might affect operation of such vehicles. The language in Section 108 refers to “congestion” as well, and this may be an issue for those systems engineering technologies, for example, integrated intelligence systems that may provide the opportunity to control traffic flow. It is anticipated that the committee would review any studies conducted on this subject to address this congestion issue.

  7. write a report documenting its conclusions and recommendations.



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A Statement of Task The committee will conduct an assessment of fuel econ- (3) an analysis of how the technologies identified in Task 2 omy technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. above may be used practically to improve medium-duty According to the Energy Independence and Security Act of and heavy-duty truck fuel economy. This will likely 2007, Section 108, the study is to develop a report evaluating entail a discussion by the committee of barriers, time medium-duty and heavy-duty truck fuel economy standards. frames, competitive pressures, and other factors that Based on the language in Section 108, the NRC committee may inhibit or accelerate the adoption of technologies formed to carry out this study will address the following for improved fuel economy. tasks, all of which will be discussed with the DOT/NHTSA (4) an analysis of how such technologies may be practically representatives, as well as any relevant Congressional staff, integrated into the medium-duty and heavy-duty truck at the committee’s first meeting. The purpose of these discus- manufacturing process. Again, the committee will likely sions will bring the benefit of the expertise of the committee identify barriers, timing, competitive pressures, and to bear on what information and data could be made available other factors that may inhibit or accelerate the practical to the committee, which will determine the extent to which implementation into the manufacturing of the various the tasks can be addressed. Thus, the committee will: vehicles under consideration. (5) an assessment of how such technologies may be used to (1) consider appropriate approaches to measuring fuel econ- meet fuel economy standards to be prescribed under sec- omy for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that would tion 32902(k) of title 49, United States Code, as amended be required for setting standards. Given the diversity of by this subtitle. vehicles and applications, consideration of classification (6) identify the potential costs and other impacts on the op- of vehicles will likely be required in this review. In addi- eration of medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. For those tion, the committee will likely have to work with DOT/ technologies that can be integrated into the design of en- NHTSA, EPA, and others, as appropriate, to identify a gines, vehicles, and trailers, it is likely that the committee reasonable approach, which would then lay the basis for would focus on any incremental costs and whether there what technologies to consider for potential improved fuel are any special requirements for these technologies that economy. might affect operation of such vehicles. The language (2) assess current and potential technologies and estimate in Section 108 refers to “congestion” as well, and this improvements in fuel economy for medium-duty and may be an issue for those systems engineering technolo- heavy-duty trucks that might be achieved. The commit- gies, for example, integrated intelligence systems that tee will need to decide on what time frame is appropriate may provide the opportunity to control traffic flow. It is to consider for the technology assessment. In addition, anticipated that the committee would review any stud- the committee should try to estimate the costs of tech- ies conducted on this subject to address this congestion nologies for fuel economy improvements. Costs may issue. be difficult to estimate given the proprietary nature of (7) write a report documenting its conclusions and the business and an approach may need to be worked recommendations. out with NHTSA/DOT and the industry to collect infor- mation that would provide the committee with enough confidence in estimating a range of costs. 

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