As part of its review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP), the committee received presentations from the four participating agencies (Department of Energy [DOE], Department of Transportation [DOT], Department of Defense [DOD], and Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]) and the 21CTP industrial partners. These presentations included detailed responses to the concerns about the program’s overall effectiveness, funding variations, priority setting, partnership performance, and other 21CTP issues raised in the National Research Council’s Phase 1 report (NRC, 2008). The committee also collected information by formulating questions to which the 21CTP provided informative answers. In addition, the 21CTP provided responses to the recommendations from the NRC Phase 1 report (see Appendix C).
In this chapter the committee reviews each of these areas and reports its findings and recommendations. For background on how the Partnership functions, the chapter also includes and summarizes information from the NRC Phase 1 report (NRC, 2008).
Overall management for the Partnership currently rests with the DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technologies (the former name was the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies [FCVT]), in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). DOE personnel lay out Partnership goals (DOE, 2006, 2010, 2011; further revisions are planned for 2011), lead the discussions for and preparation of the updated 21CTP roadmap and white papers, maintain the information-flow infrastructure (such as websites, e-mail lists), and organize meetings and conference calls. The management of individual projects under the 21CTP umbrella rests with the individual federal agencies that have funded the work. These agencies communicate among one another through the 21CTP information-sharing infrastructure to coordinate efforts and to ensure that valuable research results are communicated and that any overlap of activities among their respective efforts is reduced.
Figure 2-1 illustrates the interrelations among the key parties in setting 21CTP research programs. Government agencies request funding from Congress through the administration and work with the industrial partners and research organizations (including universities and government laboratories) to establish research programs that meet national priorities and the interests of industry partners. However, final funding levels are determined by congressional appropriations, with each agency overseen by different congressional committees. This makes prioritization of all of the 21CTP projects within the four agencies difficult, if not impossible.
FIGURE 2-1 Interrelations among participants in the 21st Century Truck Partnership. OMB, Office of Management and Budget. SOURCE: Submitted to the committee by the DOE Office of Vehicle Technologies, January 29, 2010.
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2 Management Strategy and Priority Setting INTRODUCTION through the 21CTP information-sharing infrastructure to coordinate efforts and to ensure that valuable research results As part of its review of the 21st Century Truck Partner- are communicated and that any overlap of activities among ship (21CTP), the committee received presentations from their respective efforts is reduced. the four participating agencies (Department of Energy Figure 2-1 illustrates the interrelations among the key [DOE], Department of Transportation [DOT], Department parties in setting 21CTP research programs. Government of Defense [DOD], and Environmental Protection Agency agencies request funding from Congress through the admin- [EPA]) and the 21CTP industrial partners. These presenta- istration and work with the industrial partners and research tions included detailed responses to the concerns about the organizations (including universities and government labo- program’s overall effectiveness, funding variations, priority ratories) to establish research programs that meet national setting, partnership performance, and other 21CTP issues priorities and the interests of industry partners. However, raised in the National Research Council’s Phase 1 report final funding levels are determined by congressional appro- (NRC, 2008). The committee also collected information by priations, with each agency overseen by different congres- formulating questions to which the 21CTP provided infor- sional committees. This makes prioritization of all of the mative answers. In addition, the 21CTP provided responses 21CTP projects within the four agencies difficult, if not to the recommendations from the NRC Phase 1 report (see impossible. Appendix C). In this chapter the committee reviews each of these areas and reports its findings and recommendations. For back- ground on how the Partnership functions, the chapter also includes and summarizes information from the NRC Phase 1 report (NRC, 2008). PROGRAM MANAGEMENT Overall management for the Partnership currently rests with the DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technologies (the former name was the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Tech- nologies [FCVT]), in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). DOE personnel lay out Partner- ship goals (DOE, 2006, 2010, 2011; further revisions are planned for 2011), lead the discussions for and preparation of the updated 21CTP roadmap and white papers, maintain the information-flow infrastructure (such as websites, e-mail lists), and organize meetings and conference calls. The man- 2-1.eps FIGURE 2-1 Interrelations among participants in the 21st Cen- bitmap agement of individual projects under the 21CTP umbrella tury Truck Partnership. OMB, Office of Management and Budget. rests with the individual federal agencies that have funded SOURCE: Submitted to the committee by the DOE Office of Ve- the work. These agencies communicate among one another hicle Technologies, January 29, 2010. 21
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22 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT The committee requested that the budgets for the 21CTP In the case of the DOE, technology programs are devel- projects of all four agencies be provided for its review, but oped to meet a cascading series of goals that begin at the only the DOE was able to provide a budget for 21CTP activi- President’s National Energy Policy and culminate (at the ties (see Chapter 1, Table 1-2). Because there are no specific program level) with specific technology goals. Figure 2-2 21CTP budget lines at the EPA, DOD, and DOT, the commit- illustrates that pattern schematically. tee is not aware of a specific list of 21CTP projects and corre- The DOE focuses its technology research and develop- sponding funding levels for these agencies; it never received ment (R&D) investments specifically in high-risk areas or a well-defined list of such projects and budgets. Even in the on activities with uncertain or long-term outcomes that are case of the DOE, light-duty vehicle and heavy-duty vehicle of national interest but would most likely not be pursued by work overlaps in some cases, in areas such as combustion or industry alone. Program activities include research, develop- lightweight materials, and so there is at times some difficulty ment, testing, technology validation, technology transfer, and in defining exactly what projects are considered part of the education. These activities are aimed at developing technolo- 21CTP, although leveraging the results of light-duty work gies that could achieve significant reductions in vehicle fuel for heavy-duty vehicles is appropriate. In addition, it was consumption and the displacement of oil by other fuels that difficult for the committee to ascertain the level of resources ultimately can be produced domestically in a clean and cost- that is being contributed by the private sector. competitive manner. FIGURE 2-2 Department of Energy goal setting process for technology programs. SOURCE: DOE, Responses to Committee Queries on 21CTP, Management and Process Issues. Transmitted by e-mail from Ken Howden, DOE Office of Vehicle Technologies (formerly the Office 2-2.eps of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies [FCVT]). bitmap
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23 MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND PRIORITY SETTING FIGURE 2-3 Some areas of common interest among the collaborative government agencies in the 21st Century Truck Partnership. Acronyms are defined in Appendix I. SOURCE: Submitted to the committee by the DOE Office of Vehicle Technologies, January 29, 2011. 2-3.eps bitmap (EPA/NHTSA, 2010), which led to a final rule issued In DOE vehicle research, which specifically addresses on September 15, 2011 (EPA/NHTSA, 2011); the national issue of energy security and the increasing • Truck aggressivity—with the National Transportation pressures of the rising global consumption of oil, the Office Safety Board (NTSB) using the 21CTP as a forum for of Vehicle Technologies has involved the affected industries approaching all key government and industry partici- in planning the research agenda and identifying technical pants involved with the issue; and goals that, if met, will provide the basis for commercial - • Hybrid powertrains—with the DOE and EPA pursuing ization decisions. The government’s approach is intended different technologies for hybridization, e.g., hydraulic to allow industry-wide collaboration in precompetitive hybrids at the EPA and electric hybrids at the DOE. research, which is then followed by competition in the marketplace. Figure 2-3 illustrates the general collaborative structure The Partnership provides a forum for the exchange of of the four government agencies and some areas of interest technical information among the industry and government among them. partners involved in heavy-duty transportation. At present, The full Partnership meets by conference call monthly, or the coordination of initiatives takes place as part of this at times biweekly, and meets face-to-face about four times per information exchange. year. The Partnership’s Executive Committee is made up of Specific areas in which the government partners have three industry members, one from each of three industrial sec- already coordinated initiatives include the following: tors: truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), engine manufacturers, and hybrid/system component manufacturers • Diesel fuel sulfur standard development—with coordi- (NRC, 2008).1 Agendas for the conference calls typically nation between the DOE and EPA on appropriate sulfur include discussion of topics such as the following: levels for low-sulfur diesel; • Idle reduction activities—with cooperation between • Open funding opportunities (to bring these to the atten- the EPA and DOT and their focus on deployment, and tion of members who may wish to apply), the DOE with its focus on technology R&D; • Development of heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency stan- dards—with coordination between the DOT and EPA 1 According to an e-mail from Michael Laughlin, 21CTP, to John H. to create the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Johnson, committee chair, dated May 17, 2011, Executive Committee “ Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel conference calls are scheduled monthly to discuss issues related to 21CTP Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty management and operations, and one full Partnership call per month is Engines and Vehicles,” issued on October 25, 2010 scheduled to discuss issues relevant to the entire group.
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24 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT The formal Partnership response to this Phase 1 assessment • Budget activities in the federal sector (where appro- was that “The Partnership continues to examine its organi- priate), zation and management structure as part of its ongoing self • Technical accomplishments or plans for individual assessment efforts” (in Appendix C in this report, see Phase1 areas of interest to the heavy-duty trucking industry, Finding and Recommendation 2-1 and the 21CTP response). • News articles of interest to the industry, On November 4, 2010, the Partnership elaborated fur- • Industry/government events (e.g., the Society of ther on the program management structure as follows: “By Automotive Engineers [SAE] Government-Industry design, and de facto by statutory mandate, the 21CTP itself Meeting, the SAE Commercial Vehicle Congress, and has no direct control over research activities, funding, or so forth) and any Partnership participation plans, regulations in any of the participating agencies or by its • Other Partnership activities (such as face-to-face meet- industrial partners. Rather, each participating agency follows ings, special visits to laboratories or other facilities, its own organizational structure and policies for both deci- and reviews such as the National Research Council sion making and funding for research and development.” review) and planning and participation in DEER Overall, the committee found the Partnership’s responses (formerly “Diesel Engine-Efficiency and Emissions to the 51 NRC Phase 1 report recommendations to be very Research,” now “Directions in Engine-Efficiency and satisfactory, particularly with regard to the move toward Emissions Research”) conferences. funding the development of vehicle hardware and the dem- onstration of advanced concepts deemed to be of merit. These meetings typically last no more than 2 hours, with time Although the specific responses to two program manage- reserved for industry partners to speak among themselves, ment recommendations were somewhat disappointing (in for government personnel to speak among themselves, and Appendix C, see Recommendations 2-1 and 2-2 and the for industry and government to speak together. 21CTP responses), the committee understands that the Part- The foregoing description of the overall program manage- nership was indeed formed as a virtual network, with each ment process, originally published in the NRC Phase 1 report agency responsible for its own activities and budget, and that (NRC, 2008), has been updated here to reflect the current gives the DOE a very limited mandate. Within this limited Partnership practices. It reflects the Partnership’s responses mandate, the DOE has an effective process for reviewing to questions from the committee during this Phase 2 review and managing its own projects and for maintaining focus dated November 4, 2010. on the stated Partnership goals. Interagency collaboration is The original Partnership structure—which has been char- acterized as a virtual network2 of agencies and government mixed, however: under the 21CTP umbrella, collaboration between the DOE and DOT appears strong, whereas that laboratories, with agency personnel meeting frequently with and between the EPA and DOD is weak, as one would and industry partners meeting periodically for limited shar- expect, because the two agencies have different objectives. ing and communication—was judged to be far from ideal. The collaboration between the EPA and DOT on the NPRM Accordingly, in the NRC Phase 1 report, the committee on heavy-duty vehicle fuel consumption standards (EPA/ found that, in summary, the 21CTP effectiveness could be NHTSA, 2010) was strong. improved by: In addition to the committee’s hearing a DOD presenta- tion at its meeting on November 15, 2010, a committee • Adhering to the agreed program budget spanning the subgroup visited the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, agencies, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), in War- • Appointing a full-time executive director to provide ren, Michigan, on January 10, 2011, to review 21CTP-related project management and set unified priorities, projects. Although the DOD places a high priority on reduced • Setting realistic programmatic goals and objectives energy consumption, it is necessarily focused on the needs of with stretch targets, and the soldier, with exemptions from emissions regulations and • Empowering the 21CTP Executive Committee with emphasis on high power density and JP-8 fuel. Consequently, authority to act collaboratively across agencies on pro- there is little synergy with the needs of the commercial gram decisions and implementation, using a rigorous heavy-truck industry. go/no-go process. The national laboratories conduct many DOE programs as part of, or synergistically with the 21CTP. Examples of such programs include those on advanced combustion engine research, fuels research, aftertreatment, propulsion 2 The committee and others have referred to the organization of this pro - materials, lightweight materials, hybrid simulation, vehicle gram as a “virtual network” or “virtual structure” or “virtual management” because there are no clear lines of authority across the various agencies. parasitic loss, and unregulated pollutants projects. In addition As discussed in the NRC Phase 1 report (NRC, 2008) and in this chapter, to developing new technologies in the respective areas, these there is no overall management structure with authority vested in a central programs foster ongoing technical interchange with indus- manager whose direction is followed by other agency managers associated try at the working level, thereby facilitating collaboration with the Partnership.
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25 MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND PRIORITY SETTING between the national laboratories, the government agencies, industrial partners” (NRC, 2008, Recommendation 2-2). In universities, and industry. This collaboration ensures that response, the Partnership stated that although this recom - the national laboratories know industry’s needs and have mendation “will be considered . . . the ability to directly its input while ensuring that industry has knowledge of the align budgetary decisions across the agencies, however developing technologies at the national laboratories. desirable, may be outside the scope of this voluntarily col - Combustion modeling is an outstanding example of a laborative organization” (see Appendix C). For the reasons technology developed collaboratively at the national labo- cited above, the committee concluded that, although indeed ratories and universities that has been adopted to fulfill the highly desirable, such a portfolio management process is needs of industry for modeling to improve on and develop simply not likely to happen with the decentralized nature new combustion systems, identify promising engine operat- of the Partnership. ing configurations, and reduce hardware testing. By continu- Although prioritization across agencies is unlikely to ing to focus programs in the national laboratories on the fun- happen in any meaningful way, the DOE has focused much damental aspects of the needs of industry and/or government of its 21CTP effort going forward on three SuperTruck agencies, timely transition of mobility technologies from the projects, two funded with the American Recovery and Rein- laboratory to practice can be facilitated. vestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, Public Law 111-5) funds and one receiving DOE internal funds. These projects, detailed in Chapters 3 and 8, are directed towards demonstrating PRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS feasibility, fuel efficiency, and emissions compliance with The organizational structure of the 21CTP precludes any full vehicle hardware, as recommended in the NRC Phase 1 systematic prioritization of research projects for the total report. The committee applauds the prioritization of available program. Each of the four agencies included in the 21CTP ARRA and DOE funds on these projects. has its own separate budgets and priorities. The industrial In the process of moving a new concept from research idea partners also have their own needs, priorities, and resources. to commercial product, DOE research organizations use the As a consequence, the program-wide prioritization that does general process shown in Figure 2-4. The “Basic Research” occur is the result of a complex interaction (summarized in steps are clearly dominated by DOE laboratories and “Com- Figures 2-1 through 2-3) among government agencies, the mercial Research and Design” by industry. Research results industrial partners, the national laboratories, and the Con- and budget proposals are thoroughly reviewed. Those not gress and the Office of Management and Budget. approved or having marginal benefit go into the “Valley of In summary, the primary intent of the 21CTP is to facili- Death” where they remain until circumstances change. tate communication among the many partners to avoid dupli- cation of effort, to communicate technical achievements, and FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS to provide financial support to assist in moving new technol- ogy through development to commercialization. In summary, the 21CTP is operated as a virtual network of In the NRC Phase 1 report, the committee recommended agencies, industry, and government laboratories, and it is dif- the creation of “a portfolio management process that sets ficult in many cases to identify individual Agency priorities p riorities and aligns budgets among the agencies and and budgets. As in the Phase 1 review, the committee is con- FIGURE 2-4 Department of Energy project management and innovation process. Acronyms are defined in Appendix I. SOURCE: Submitted to the committee by the DOE Office of Vehicle Technologies, January 29, 2011. 2-4.eps bitmap
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26 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT between the activities for light–duty vehicles and the 21CTP. cerned about the lack of stable year-to-year funding. How- While many of these activities are reviewed at the annual ever, despite its unwieldy structure and budgetary process, it DOE Merit Review and at Directions in Engine-Efficiency has made significant progress, and the outlook for continued and Emissions Research (DEER) conferences, and the new success is bright, barring any major funding issues. SuperTruck projects include an annual reporting require- Following are the committee’s findings and recommenda- ment, there is no dedicated report for the 21CTP. tions with respect to the management, strategy, and priority setting of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. Recommendation 2-2. The DOE should issue a brief annual Finding 2-1. The 21CTP is a virtual organization facilitating report documenting the specific projects within the 21CTP and the progress made. The annual report should provide communication among four agencies, government laborato- references to published technical reports from the involved ries, and industry, but it has no direct control over research agencies. This would especially help outside groups, future activities or funding across the agencies or by its industry review committees, the Congress, and others to understand partners. The committee continues to believe that the lack of the structure, activities, and progress of the Partnership. single-point 21CTP authority is far from optimal, although it recognizes that this is necessary because of the various Congressional committees that the agencies report to and REFERENCES that provide their budgets. DOE (U.S. Department of Energy). 2006. 21st Century Truck Partnership Roadmap and Technical White Papers. Document No. 21CTP-003. Recommendation 2-1. The DOE is urged to continue to Washington, D.C.: Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies. improve the functioning of the 21CTP “virtual” management DOE. 2010. Updated 21st Century Truck Partnership Roadmap and Techni- structure in every way possible. Such improved function- cal White Papers. Working draft, September 1, 2010. Washington, D.C.: ing would include strengthening interagency collaboration Office of Vehicle Technologies. (particularly that involving the EPA and DOD)3 and docu- DOE. 2011. Updated 21st Century Truck Partnership Technical White Papers. Working draft, February 25, 2011. Washington, D.C.: Office of menting and publishing specific 21CTP activity within all Vehicle Technologies. four agencies. EPA/NHTSA (Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 2010. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Finding 2-2. The EPA, DOD, and DOT did not have a Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy- Duty Engines and Vehicles. Dockets No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0162 and well-defined list of the projects and associated budgets that No. NHTSA-2010-0079, October 25, 2010. Available at http://www. were included under the 21CTP umbrella. This stems in regulations.gov. part from the virtual nature of the Partnership and partly, EPA/NHTSA. 2011.Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Effi- particularly within the DOE, from the natural overlap in ciency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, activities on batteries, hybrids, materials, and other areas Final Rules, September 25, 2011. Available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/ fuel-economy. NRC (National Research Council). 2008. Review of the 21st Century Truck 3 Partnership. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Subsequent to the committee’s review of 21CTP programs, the DOE and the DOD entered into the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance (AVPTA) partnership on July 18, 2011. See, for example, “DOE, Army Al- liance Underlines Achieving Energy Security” by Chris Williams, available at http://www.army.mil/article/62727/. Accessed October 18, 2011.