THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

National Research Council

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Phone: 202 334 3344 Fax: 202 334 2019

July 10, 2009

The Honorable Steven Chu

Secretary

U.S. Department of Energy

1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20585

The Honorable Cathy Zoi

Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

U.S. Department of Energy

1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20585

Dear Secretary Chu and Assistant Secretary Zoi:

This National Research Council (NRC) letter report was prepared by the Committee on Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, Phase 3 (see Attachment I), in response to a request from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (see Attachment II for the statement of task). It addresses one part of its statement of task, namely, to broadly review the strategy and structure of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership (hereafter referred to as the Partnership). Attachment III lists the presentations to the committee at its April 27, 2009 meeting. The committee welcomes the chance to offer the benefit of its experience and expertise in providing some suggestions and guidance to the Partnership as it addresses future challenges and reviews its goals, strategy, organization, and priorities.

The committee recognizes and agrees with the new Administration’s focus on nearer-term technologies. However, it also emphasizes the need for continued investment in longer-term, higher-risk, higher-payoff vehicle technologies that could be highly transformational with regard to reduced use of petroleum and reduced emissions. Such technologies include advanced batteries, technologies for hydrogen storage, and hydrogen/fuel cells. The committee has also concluded that for researchers, contractors, and investors to be willing to make long-term commitments to these and other potentially important developing technologies, a consistent year-to-year level of support must be provided.



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