The committee has further concluded that, given increasing concerns about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and world climate change, the Partnership should incorporate in its planning a broader-scope, “cradle-to-grave” analysis rather than a “well-to-wheels” approach, to better consider total emissions and the full environmental impact of using various fuels and technologies. In addition, the Partnership should consider broadening the scope of technical approaches being considered within each of what the committee considers to be the three major fuel and vehicle pathways—biofuels/internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs)/battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and hydrogen-fueled fuel cell vehicles.

Finally, the committee concluded that several measures should be considered by DOE to assist in implementing these suggestions. One is to provide temporary reductions in cost-share requirements to ease the burden on prospective researchers. Otherwise, there could be a significant number of potential worthy contributors who cannot afford the matching funds. Another implementation suggestion, occasioned by the obvious financial problems of the automotive companies (OEMs), is to consider providing direct funding to them to help keep important in-house research programs active. Other suggestions are included in the balance of the report.


The Partnership,1 as it currently exists, can be described as a focused research and technology development program that emphasizes high-risk, high-payoff technologies believed to be essential for a transition to vastly different light-duty passenger vehicles. “Vastly different” means vehicles that, according to the Partnership’s original long-term goals, differ from existing light-duty vehicles (LDVs) in that they include the possibility of a full spectrum of vehicles that can operate without petroleum and free of harmful emissions while sustaining the driving public’s freedom of mobility and freedom of vehicle choice. The needed research has been directed and supported by a collaboration among the U.S. government (especially DOE), the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR; its members are Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation), five key energy companies (BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Hydrogen [U.S.]), and more recently two major utility companies (Southern California Edison and DTE Energy) (DOE, 2006, 2009a). The Partnership has established, and periodically reviews, a roadmap with research milestones against which to measure progress in


As described in DOE (2006), the “Partnership” is not a legal entity, and it is not intended that the “partners” have the responsibilities or rights of legal partners. Rather, the terms “Partnership” and “partners” are used in an informal sense to denote participants working together toward the stated goals of the group.

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