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.

In DOE vehicle research, which specifically addresses the national issue of energy security and the increasing pressures of the rising global consumption of oil, the Office of Vehicle Technologies has involved the affected industries in planning the research agenda and identifying technical goals that, if met, will provide the basis for commercialization decisions. The government’s approach is intended to allow industry-wide collaboration in precompetitive research, which is then followed by competition in the marketplace.

The Partnership provides a forum for the exchange of technical information among the industry and government partners involved in heavy-duty transportation. At present, the coordination of initiatives takes place as part of this information exchange.

Specific areas in which the government partners have already coordinated initiatives include the following:

•   Diesel fuel sulfur standard development—with coordination between the DOE and EPA on appropriate sulfur levels for low-sulfur diesel;

•   Idle reduction activities—with cooperation between the EPA and DOT and their focus on deployment, and the DOE with its focus on technology R&D;

•   Development of heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards—with coordination between the DOT and EPA to create the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles,” issued on October 25, 2010 (EPA/NHTSA, 2010), which led to a final rule issued on September 15, 2011 (EPA/NHTSA, 2011);

•   Truck aggressivity—with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) using the 21CTP as a forum for approaching all key government and industry participants involved with the issue; and

•   Hybrid powertrains—with the DOE and EPA pursuing different technologies for hybridization, e.g., hydraulic hybrids at the EPA and electric hybrids at the DOE.

Figure 2-3 illustrates the general collaborative structure of the four government agencies and some areas of interest among them.

The full Partnership meets by conference call monthly, or at times biweekly, and meets face-to-face about four times per year. The Partnership’s Executive Committee is made up of three industry members, one from each of three industrial sectors: truck original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), engine manufacturers, and hybrid/system component manufacturers (NRC, 2008).1 Agendas for the conference calls typically include discussion of topics such as the following:

•   Open funding opportunities (to bring these to the attention of members who may wish to apply),


1 According to an e-mail from Michael Laughlin, 21CTP, to John H. Johnson, committee chair, dated May 17, 2011, Executive Committee conference calls are scheduled monthly to discuss issues related to 21CTP management and operations, and one full Partnership call per month is scheduled to discuss issues relevant to the entire group.

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