divided between the Vehicle Technologies (VT) program and the Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies program (HFCIT; the latter has been renamed the Fuel Cell Technologies [FCT] program). The Partnership collaborates with other DOE offices outside of EERE—for example, Fossil Energy, Nuclear Energy, Electricity Delivery and Reliability, and Science—as well as within EERE, such as the Biomass program, which are not part of the Partnership. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is also involved in safety-related activities as well as existing or new hydrogen (or other fuels) pipelines and delivery trucks, including those for hydrogen and biofuels.

The scope of this review, as for the previous reviews, is to assess the progress in each of the technical areas, comment on the overall adequacy and balance, and make recommendations, depending on issues identified by the committee, that will help the Partnership to meet its goals (see Chapter 1 for the committee’s full statement of task). This Summary provides overall comments and a brief discussion of the technical areas covered more completely in the report and presents the committee’s main conclusions and recommendations.1 Additional recommendations appear in appropriate topic areas of Chapters 2 through 4.


Since the creation of the FreedomCAR program in January 2002, it has undergone significant changes in Partnership members, with five energy companies added in September 2003 and two electrical power companies in 2008. Even though the technologies involved are not all under the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership umbrella, the potential pathways to the long-term objectives of reduced petroleum consumption as well as reduced criteria emissions and reduced greenhouse gases (GHGs) seem also to have broadened. In the collective opinion of the committee, there are essentially three primary alternative pathways:

  • Improved ICE vehicles coupled with greater use of biofuels,

  • A shifting of significant portions of transportation energy from petroleum to the grid through the expanded use of PHEVs and BEVs, and

  • The transition to hydrogen as a major transportation fuel utilized in fuel cell vehicles.

In general, the committee believes that the Partnership is effective in progressing toward its goals. There is evidence of solid progress in essentially all areas, even though substantial barriers remain (see Chapter 5).

Most of the remaining barriers relate to cost (e.g., fuel cells, batteries, etc.), although there are also substantial performance barriers (e.g., onboard hydrogen


The numbering of the recommendations in this Summary matches that of the same recommendations as they appear in the text of the chapters.

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