areas that the 21CTP is addressing. (See Chapter 1 for the committee’s complete statement of task). The committee’s work was aided by its review of written materials and through presentations by 21CTP government and industry partners on technical progress and accomplishments (see Appendix B). In addition, the series of white papers referred to above summarized technical information, barriers, and, in many cases, goals and milestones, for six major focus areas:

1.   Engine systems—which also includes fuels, aftertreatment, and materials;

2.   Hybrid propulsion systems;

3.   Vehicle power demands—formerly called parasitic losses, which aim to reduce energy losses such as those from rolling resistance or aerodynamics;

4.   Idle reduction—which aims to reduce the amount of energy used for truck engine idling;

5.   Vehicle safety—to reduce fatalities and injuries in truck-involved crashes; and

6.   Efficient operations—which is a new area and white paper with the aim of reducing fuel consumption in the U.S. truck freight-delivery system.

This Summary first presents the committee’s overall findings and recommendations from the review of the 21CTP as a whole. It then presents the major findings and recommendations, selected from Chapters 2 through 9, for the following: management strategy and priority setting for the Partnership, the first five focus areas defined by the white papers (listed above), the SuperTruck program begun in 2010, and the new, sixth focus area on efficient operations. The findings and recommendations from the chapters retain their original numbering to help the reader gain context by going to the original discussions. The report chapters also contain findings and recommendations in addition to those in this Summary.

The new SuperTruck program is funding the development and demonstration of full vehicle systems integrating a number of technologies into Class 8 heavy-duty, long-haul trucks with the aim of reducing load-specific fuel consumption (i.e., gallons per ton-mile). This new effort follows on the NRC Phase 1 report that called for integrating new technologies, including advanced diesel engines, into vehicle systems.


Overall Report Finding S-1. The key benefit of the 21st Century Truck Partnership is the coordination of research programs directed toward the goal of reducing fuel usage and emissions while increasing the safety of heavy-duty vehicles. Federal involvement is bringing stakeholders to the table and accelerating the pace of technological development. Given the federal regulatory requirements to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, it seems the sharing of research and development (R&D) costs between the government and U.S. manufacturers of trucks and buses or heavy-duty vehicle components is appropriate to develop new technologies. Thus, the 21CTP is providing access to the extraordinary expertise and equipment in federal laboratories, in addition to seed funding that draws financial commitment from the companies to push forward in new technology areas. The Partnership provides the United States with a forum in which the member agencies, in combination with industry, academia, and federal laboratories, can better coordinate their programs. The steady decline in research funding from FY 2003 through FY 2007 was threatening the attainment of program goals. The actual funding and need for R&D are discussed in Chapter 1. The funding level in the years prior to the availability of funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was not in proportion to the importance of the goal of reducing the fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles and providing advanced technology for the industry to meet the 2014-2018 and later fuel consumption regulations. The ARRA funds provided by Congress in 2009-2010 have significantly enhanced the ability of the Partnership to meet and demonstrate the goals for reducing fuel-consumption and improving safety in prototype vehicles.

Overall Report Recommendation S-1. The 21CTP should be continued to help meet the nation’s goal of reduced fuel consumption in the transportation sector. In addition, the Partnership needs to review whether additional partners—such as major truck and component manufacturers that are not currently members—that could contribute to the R&D program should be recruited. Research funding should be commensurate with well-formulated goals that are strategic to reducing the fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles while improving safety, and all projects should be prioritized so that the 21CTP R&D program can be implemented within the available budget.

Overall Report Finding S-2. The 21CTP leadership responded substantively to most of the recommendations of the National Research Council’s (NRC) Phase 1 review, which helped to contribute to the improved program that was the subject of this Phase 2 review. The committee commends the leadership of the Partnership for this effort.

Overall Report Recommendation S-2. The 21CTP program goals should continue to be established, reviewed, updated, related to available funding, and clearly stated in measurable engineering terms. The white papers defining the various technical areas of R&D should be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, periodically and prior to any future NRC review of the 21CTP. Given the “virtual” nature of the Partnership among 4 agencies and 15 industrial partners, the projects that are considered to be part of 21CTP should be better defined and, if part of the Partnership, indicated by a 21CTP notation in any 21CTP documentation.

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