1
Introduction

For more than 20 years, the administration and Congress have expressed a strong desire to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign petroleum. In pursuit of this goal, beginning in 1974, Congress has enacted a number of laws authorizing the development of advanced automotive technologies and alternative fuels. For example, Section 2021 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-486) directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to "conduct a five-year program ... on cost effective technologies to reduce the demand for oil in the transportation sector for all motor vehicles, including existing vehicles, through increased energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuels." In September 1993, President Clinton initiated the decade-long Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program with the goals of (1) significantly improving U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing; (2) implementing commercially viable innovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles; and (3) developing a vehicle with up to three times the fuel efficiency of comparable current vehicles while maintaining or improving current levels of performance, size, utility, and total cost of ownership and meeting or exceeding federal safety and emissions requirements (PNGV, 1995). Goal 3 of the PNGV includes the production of a concept vehicle by 2000 and preproduction prototypes by 2004. The PNGV program is a cooperative research and development (R&D) program between the federal government and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which is made up of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. DOE is one of eight federal agencies participating in the PNGV and is the largest federal participant in terms of R&D programs on advanced automotive technologies directly related to PNGV goals.

DOE's Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies (OAAT) was estab-



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--> 1 Introduction For more than 20 years, the administration and Congress have expressed a strong desire to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign petroleum. In pursuit of this goal, beginning in 1974, Congress has enacted a number of laws authorizing the development of advanced automotive technologies and alternative fuels. For example, Section 2021 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-486) directed the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to "conduct a five-year program ... on cost effective technologies to reduce the demand for oil in the transportation sector for all motor vehicles, including existing vehicles, through increased energy efficiency and the use of alternative fuels." In September 1993, President Clinton initiated the decade-long Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program with the goals of (1) significantly improving U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing; (2) implementing commercially viable innovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles; and (3) developing a vehicle with up to three times the fuel efficiency of comparable current vehicles while maintaining or improving current levels of performance, size, utility, and total cost of ownership and meeting or exceeding federal safety and emissions requirements (PNGV, 1995). Goal 3 of the PNGV includes the production of a concept vehicle by 2000 and preproduction prototypes by 2004. The PNGV program is a cooperative research and development (R&D) program between the federal government and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which is made up of Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. DOE is one of eight federal agencies participating in the PNGV and is the largest federal participant in terms of R&D programs on advanced automotive technologies directly related to PNGV goals. DOE's Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies (OAAT) was estab-

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--> lished in 1996 to consolidate the department's automotive technology R&D into an integrated program for light vehicles, namely, passenger vehicles and light trucks under 8,500 lb. gross vehicle weight (GVW). In addition to the development of piston and gas turbine engines, OAAT is also developing electric vehicles (EVs). The goal of the OAAT is to research, develop, and validate technologies that will enable the introduction into the domestic market of light vehicles that have: several times the fuel economy of current, comparable conventional vehicles fuel flexibility emissions that comply with regulatory limits projected to be in place when the vehicles are available for the marketplace other attributes, such as price, that render them competitive with conventional products (DOE, 1997) One of the first steps undertaken by the OAAT was to develop a five-year plan defining the scope, focus, and content of its R&D program for calendar years 1997 through 2001. The R&D Plan for the Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies describes the research "to reduce the most serious technical barriers to the development of energy-efficient automotive technologies that could significantly reduce the nation's dependence on petroleum" (DOE, 1997). The spectrum of technologies addressed by OAAT pertain to advanced engines,1 fuel cells, high power energy storage,2 power electronics and electric machines, advanced automotive materials, alternative fuels, and batteries for EVs. The R&D plan includes: a description of the program goal and objectives; a detailed technical plan, with separate discussions of the status of each technology area, key technical barriers, strategies for overcoming technical barriers, and critical tasks and milestones for the development and validation of each technology; and a management plan detailing how the program will be managed and implemented. The technical plan emphasizes jointly funded partnerships with industry for developing and validating technologies. The federal OAAT budget for fiscal year 1997 was $125 million. Origin and Scope of this Study At the request of the director of the OAAT, the National Research Council (NRC) convened a committee under the auspices of the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems to conduct an independent review of the OAAT R&D 1   The advanced engine technology area focuses on two power plants, the compression-ignition, direct-injection (CIDI) engine and ceramic gas turbines. 2   Energy storage is essential for hybrid vehicles. Energy storage devices included in the OAAT R&D plan are high power batteries, ultracapacitors, and flywheels.

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--> plan. In its review of the plan, the committee was asked to examine and provide comments on issues such as:3 the goals, objectives, assumptions, priorities, and descriptions of potential benefits to the nation the strategies for overcoming identified technical barriers in high-priority technical areas the metrics for measuring progress in R&D the strategy for dealing with future budget uncertainties and allocating resources among technology areas the strategy for implementing and managing the plan in the light of anticipated budgets The committee members included experts on engines, vehicles, and power trains; fuels and associated infrastructure; fuel cells, electrochemistry, and batteries; materials; power electronics and electrical engineering; management of R&D; and environmental and strategic planning. Biographical sketches of committee members are provided in Appendix A. The committee noted that about 86 percent of OAAT funded R&D is contained in the PNGV program and that another NRC committee, the Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the PNGV, has conducted three reviews of the PNGV program (NRC, 1994, 1996, 1997); a fourth review is under way. However, the present committee was not constrained in its review of the OAAT R&D plan by the findings, conclusions, or recommendations of these reviews. The present review was also conducted independently of an ongoing NRC study by the Committee to Review the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium's (USABC) Electric Vehicle Battery R&D Project Selection Process. Approximately 14 percent of the OAAT funded R&D in fiscal year 1997 is contained in USABC, which includes the development of advanced batteries for future electric and hybrid vehicles. The committee observed that one of the challenges faced by the OAAT in developing its R&D plan was assimilating R&D already funded by DOE (including parts of the PNGV and USABC programs) into a comprehensive program. In addition, the OAAT plan had to respond to a number of legislative directives from Congress and executive orders and regulations at the federal and state levels. The committee recognized that these constraints complicated OAAT's task of developing an R&D plan that is technically robust and strategically focused on high-level goals and that includes priorities for implementation in the face of budget uncertainties. Except for the potential benefits of the proposed R&D, the 3   The phrase "such as" in the statement of task implies flexibility. The exact contents of the DOE R&D plan were not known at the time the NRC submitted the study proposal to DOE. The committee, in reviewing the draft of the DOE plan, considered the issues specified in the statement of task, as appropriate, as well as other concerns that seemed important for improving the plan.

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--> committee's analysis and recommendations do not address implicit questions of public policy, which were considered to be beyond the scope of the committee's task. Study Process and Report Organization The committee met twice over a two-month period. A major portion of the first meeting was devoted to presentations from OAAT personnel on the overall plan and on individual technology areas (see Appendix B). Although the committee had reviewed the plan prior to the first meeting, the organized and informative presentations by OAAT were extremely useful for clarifying some aspects of the plan, which, even after several readings, had remained confusing. In the committee's view, the plan cannot be effective unless it is communicated clearly to everyone involved in R&D, as well as to sponsors and decision makers. For this reason, the committee deemed it necessary to recommend improvements in the presentation of some material, as well as in technical content. In most cases, the committee's suggestions for improving the presentation of the plan are given in the body of the text. The recommendations address more substantive issues. Chapter 2 addresses the OAAT R&D plan from an overall perspective. It includes the committee's assessment of and recommendations regarding goals and objectives, assumptions, benefits, priorities, strategies for overcoming barriers, metrics, and the influence of budget uncertainties. Chapter 3 addresses the detailed technical programs for vehicle systems and the seven major technology areas identified in the plan, namely, advanced engines, fuel cells, high power energy storage, power electronics and electric machines, advanced automotive materials, alternative fuels, and electric vehicle batteries. References DOE. (U.S. Department of Energy). 1997. Research and Development Plan for the Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies: Energy Efficient Technologies for 21st Century Vehicles. Final Draft, June 17. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. NRC. (National Research Council). 1994. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Transportation Research Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1996. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, Second Report. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Transportation Research Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1997. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, Third Report. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Transportation Research Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles). 1995. Program Plan. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Commerce, PNGV Secretariat.