The National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, Phase 3, will address the following tasks (Note: the interim letter report will address Task 6):
Review the challenging high-level technical goals and timetables for government and industry R&D efforts, which address such areas as (a) integrated systems analysis; (b) fuel cell power systems; (c) hydrogen storage systems; (d) hydrogen production and distribution technologies necessary for the viability of hydrogen-fueled vehicles; (e) the technical basis for codes and standards; (f) electric propulsion systems; (g) electric energy storage technologies; (h) lightweight materials; and (i) advanced combustion and emission control systems for internal combustion engines (ICEs).
Review and evaluate progress and program directions since the Phase 1 and 2 reviews toward meeting the Partnership’s technical goals, and examine ongoing research activities and their relevance to meeting the goals of the Partnership.
Examine and comment on the overall balance and adequacy of the research and development effort, and the rate of progress, in light of the technical objectives and schedules for each of the major technology areas.
Examine and comment, as necessary, on the appropriate role for federal involvement in the various technical areas under development, especially in light of activities ongoing in the private sector or in the states.
Examine and comment on the Partnership’s strategy for accomplishing its goals, especially in the context of ongoing developments in biofuels, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles, the recent enactment of legislation on corporate average fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles, and possible legislation on carbon emissions. Other issues that the committee might address include (a) program management and organization; (b) the process for setting milestones, research directions, and making Go/No Go decisions; (c) collaborative activities needed to meet the program’s goals (e.g., among the various offices and programs in DOE, the U.S. Department of Transportation, USCAR, the fuels industry, electric power sector, universities, other parts of the private sector [such as venture capitalists], and others); and (d) other topics that the committee finds important to comment on related to the success of the program in meeting its technical goals.
As a first step in examining the Partnership’s strategy, and given the changes that may take place with the new Administration, the committee at its first full committee meeting will address potential changes in the program strategy and program structure. The committee will write a short interim letter report with suggestions and recommendations on program strategy