6
Major Crosscutting Issues

Eight primary crosscutting issues of the PNGV program are considered in this chapter: (1) the technologies selected for the concept vehicles, specifically the economic viability of the HEV (hybrid electric vehicle); (2) the balance and adequacy of the PNGV program to meet program goals and schedules; (3) major achievements and technical barriers; (4) vehicle safety; (5) developments in foreign technology; (6) goals 1 and 2; (7) government involvement in the PNGV after the technology selection process has been completed; and (8) interactions between the PNGV program and other federally funded research programs.

After the technology selection of specific configurations for concept demonstration vehicles, the development of technologies for low fuel consumption vehicles will take two distinct paths. The first is the concept demonstration, which involves the systematic refinement of systems and components for lightweight, low-loss, CIDI-powered HEVs towards viable production vehicles. The second is the continued development of promising technologies that were not initially selected for the year 2000 concept demonstration vehicles. These technologies will require research studies and feasibility demonstrations until the risks and rewards of their automotive applications are better understood. The concept vehicle demonstration programs will be managed as separate projects by the USCAR partners, whereas the longer-term development will involve many government agencies, suppliers, universities, and government laboratories, as well as the USCAR partners.



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6 Major Crosscutting Issues Eight primary crosscutting issues of the PNGV program are considered in this chapter: (1) the technologies selected for the concept vehicles, specifically the economic viability of the HEV (hybrid electric vehicle); (2) the balance and adequacy of the PNGV program to meet program goals and schedules; (3) major achievements and technical barriers; (4) vehicle safety; (5) developments in foreign technology; (6) goals 1 and 2; (7) government involvement in the PNGV after the technology selection process has been completed; and (8) interactions between the PNGV program and other federally funded research programs. After the technology selection of specific configurations for concept demonstration vehicles, the development of technologies for low fuel consumption vehicles will take two distinct paths. The first is the concept demonstration, which involves the systematic refinement of systems and components for lightweight, low-loss, CIDI-powered HEVs towards viable production vehicles. The second is the continued development of promising technologies that were not initially selected for the year 2000 concept demonstration vehicles. These technologies will require research studies and feasibility demonstrations until the risks and rewards of their automotive applications are better understood. The concept vehicle demonstration programs will be managed as separate projects by the USCAR partners, whereas the longer-term development will involve many government agencies, suppliers, universities, and government laboratories, as well as the USCAR partners.

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TECHNOLOGY SELECTION: ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF THE HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE In the past, the committee has been critical of the PNGV systems analysis team for not providing systematic evaluations of candidate technologies in terms of their potential initial costs, the total cost of vehicle ownership, weight impacts, and effects on the infrastructure. The lack of analyses seems to have had a minimal impact, however, on the selection of a configuration for the concept demonstration vehicles because only a limited number of technologies had reached a level of maturity that would justify their selection. It is not surprising, therefore, that all three USCAR partners chose configurations with major weight reductions, reduced aerodynamic drag, reduced accessory loads, low rolling resistance tires, low-loss transmissions, CIDI engines, and parallel hybrid configurations that allow some regeneration of braking energy (see Appendix F). But studies evaluating economic viability for the consumer market have not yet been done. Vehicles that meet all PNGV targets for aerodynamics, weight reduction, and low rolling resistance are currently projected to achieve less than 65 mpg with any of the nonhybrid combustion engine power trains being considered. Therefore, they would save, at most, about 3,300 gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle (see Table 6-1). Although 65 mpg falls short of the 80 mpg target, which would nominally save about 3,725 gallons of fuel, the nonhybrid vehicle has the potential to provide 85 percent of the target fuel savings. Assuming that the vehicle meets the PNGV requirements for emissions, safety, size, comfort, range, and driveability, it is appropriate to consider whether it meets the requirement for "equivalent cost of ownership." The principal elements of the cost of ownership are initial cost and lifetime fuel and maintenance costs. This nonhybrid vehicle would have similar complexity to existing diesel power train vehicles, suggesting that they would require no substantial change in maintenance costs and that the initial cost, assuming PNGV component cost targets were met, would increase by less than the value of lifetime fuel savings. Consequently, the total cost of ownership for the nonhybrid vehicle could be lower than the cost for today's baseline conventional vehicle. Even in the most optimistic projection, a hybrid vehicle is estimated to offer about a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy. For an HEV, the 80 mpg target, therefore, would save less than 425 gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle over a nonhybrid vehicle with a fuel economy of 65 mpg. But the HEV would be more complex because of its motor/generator, battery, power conversion electronics, and switch gear and electronic controls, and even the most optimistic cost targets for HEVs are still in excess of the fuel savings by approximately an order of magnitude, not including the anticipated additional maintenance costs for the additional components. The cost of ownership would appear to increase markedly for the hybrid vehicle unless these are offset by

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TABLE 6-1 Fuel Comparison for the Technologies Selected for the Concept Vehicles   Baseline Nonhybrida Hybrid Goal Fuel economy (gasoline equivalent) (mpg) 26.7 ≤ 65 ≤ 80 80 Fuel used over vehicle lifetime (150,000 miles) (gal) 5,600 ≥ 2,300 ≥ 1,875 1,875 Lifetime fuel savings over baseline (gal)   ≤ 3,300 ≤ 3,725 3,725 a Vehicle with 40 percent weight reduction, advanced CIDI engine, low drag, low rolling resistance tires, low accessory loads, and low-loss transmission. overriding benefits related to emissions or operating flexibility. Thus, the hybrid features may not meet the PNGV criteria for equivalent cost of ownership and may ultimately have questionable marketability for this class of passenger vehicles. A recent review by the NRC Committee on Advanced Automotive Technologies Plan of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Automotive Technologies (OAAT) Research and Development Plan also noted the likely increase in costs and complexity of hybrid vehicles compared to nonhybrid vehicles (NRC, 1998). In that report, the committee also recommended that the OAAT conduct a thorough analysis of the trade-offs between hybrid and nonhybrid vehicle configurations. Recommendation. The PNGV should continue to refine its detailed analyses of the cost of ownership of hybrid and nonhybrid vehicles. If the economic and performance benefits of the hybrid electric vehicle do not exceed or warrant its additional costs, the concept demonstration vehicle program should be expanded to include nonhybrid vehicles to accelerate the development and introduction of economically viable technologies. Recommendation. Conventional, nonhybrid vehicles should not be excluded from future PNGV and U.S. Department of Energy plans. ADEQUACY AND BALANCE OF THE PNGV PROGRAM As the committee noted in its third report, assessing the adequacy and balance of the PNGV program is difficult because the committee has not seen a funding plan. Based on extensive discussions during this review and the previous three reviews, and on assessments by the PNGV, the committee continues to believe that additional resources will be needed to meet the challenging objectives of the program. However, the fact that the concrete milestone of technology

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selection in 1997 for a single concept demonstration vehicle configuration has been made (see Appendix F) leads to a number of conclusions. PNGV's activities to date have been adequate to support the selection of concept demonstration technologies with a high potential of approaching the 80 mpg goal on the PNGV schedule. Although the PNGV estimates that the concept vehicle will fall 10 to 20 percent short of the 80 mpg goal, the improvement will represent a major achievement for either hybrid or nonhybrid vehicle configurations. The potential for high fuel economy is the result of a number of technical developments. Although the most advanced diesel technology is largely based in Europe, it is available to the USCAR partners through affiliates and agreements. The state of development of hybrid power regeneration components and batteries has been advanced by the HEV and United States Advanced Battery Consortium programs, which are sponsored by DOE and include substantial cost sharing by USCAR partners and suppliers. These programs have provided enabling technology to support concept selection and risk reduction. Similarly, work conducted under PNGV Goal 1 and industry programs have contributed to the development of aluminum and other lightweight materials for major vehicle weight reductions. Assuming that the PNGV/USCAR partners perform as expected (and assuming successful cost reduction), and assuming that the PNGV/USCAR partners can overcome the formidable challenges of emission goals, the committee believes that adequate resources have been applied to the selected technologies and that the year 2000 concept demonstration vehicles and the 2004 prototype vehicles can be realized. The development of alternative energy converters and storage devices—notably fuel cells, gas turbines, Stirling cycle engines, flywheels, and ultracapacitors—have not progressed to a level where they could be selected for the year 2000 concept vehicles. Furthermore, it is difficult to determine how much, if any, PNGV has stimulated a greater allocation of resources to the development of these alternative systems and devices for automotive applications, with the exception of a recent acceleration of U.S. investment in fuel cells. Observers who expected that the development of these higher-risk concepts would be accelerated by PNGV may be disappointed. But the committee recognizes that there is no assurance that added resources would have brought the risk or payoff of any of these emerging technologies to the point where they would have been selected as superior technologies at this time. The committee also recognizes that PNGV has not agreed on levels of resources or schedules for the ongoing development of these alternative technologies. The committee believes that one of the primary benefits of PNGV has been to focus various government and industry groups on achieving a revolutionary decrease in automotive vehicle fuel consumption and recognizing of the potential benefits of specific technologies. Looking ahead, it will be important for PNGV

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to measure progress toward the production and commercial introduction of the selected lower-risk technologies embodied in the concept vehicles, as well as progress toward overcoming the barriers in the development of post-concept vehicle technologies. Growing concerns worldwide about CO2 levels, including the possibility of an international agreement that would be followed by the implementation of national strategies, could accelerate the need for lower-risk near-term improvements in fuel consumption in the world's automotive fleets. This scenario would also probably mean a larger investment by the U.S. government in longer-term research, as was recommended by The President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology in a recent report (PCAST, 1997). The nonhybrid vehicle uses relatively low-risk technologies and has the potential to reduce the cost of ownership. Although this vehicle will still involve some risk, as well as further significant development, capital investment, and increased infrastructure costs, accelerated implementation of these technologies leading to an approximately 60+ mpg vehicle, coupled with expanded research in the areas specified for the concept vehicles (see the section on Government Involvement in Post-Concept Vehicles below) to achieve an 80 mpg vehicle, seems both feasible and prudent. The committee believes that technology developed for the PNGV midsize sedan should also be appropriate for light trucks (pickups, minivans, and sport utility vehicles). Light trucks, which have increased to almost 50 percent of sales in the United States, are heavier and consume more fuel per mile than most automobiles. The U.S. Department of Transportation has also expressed concerns (DOT, 1997b) about safety because of the weight differential between light trucks and passenger cars (see the Vehicle Safety section below). Given the growing popularity of light trucks, the committee believes that the PNGV should identify strategies that would take into consideration these changes in the market. For example, perhaps emphasis on goals 1 and 2 should be increased with the intention of transferring technical improvements in fuel efficiency to light trucks. Or perhaps PNGV should consider parallel programs for automobiles and light trucks. If present trends continue, making an impact on total U.S. transportation fuel consumption through the PNGV will require that PNGV address the issue of light trucks. Recommendation. Government and industry policy makers should review the benefits and implications of PNGV pursuing a parallel strategy to achieve a 60+ mpg nonhybrid vehicle at an early date and should establish goals, schedules, and resource requirements for a coordinated development program. Recommendation. The PNGV should assess the implications of the growing vehicle population of light trucks in the U.S. market in terms of overall fuel economy, emissions, and safety. Wherever possible, the PNGV should develop strategies for transferring PNGV technical advances to light trucks.

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MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS AND TECHNICAL BARRIERS In a presentation to the committee at its October 1997 meeting, the PNGV listed the following important achievements in 1997, in addition to the technology selection and improvements in systems analysis: demonstration of a CO-tolerant fuel-cell stack integration of a partial oxidation gasoline processor with fuel-cell stack for gasoline-to-electricity demonstration completion of a lightweight CIDI engine architecture study completion of a DME design study for CIDI engine alternative fuel demonstration of lithium-ion 6-Ah cell abuse tolerance identification of a potential lightweight approach for containment of low-energy flywheel development of an industry-wide specification for integrated power module completion of systems analysis for fuel economy trade-offs for major alternative vehicle configurations determination of weight reduction potential for selected body structure production of driveable hybrid propulsion demonstration vehicles ("mules") at all three companies development of continuous casting technology as a replacement for ingot casting, with promising results for reducing the cost of aluminum sheet All of the achievements listed above, except for the fuel cell and flywheel, apply to the technologies selected for the concept demonstration vehicles. The committee was also apprised of an impressive achievement by Ford, the P2000 concept vehicle, which includes a low-weight, unitized aluminum body into which Ford intends to install their new CIDI engine, the 1.2-liter DIATA (direct-injection, aluminum, through-bolt assembly) engine. Although the P2000 is a Ford program rather than a shared PNGV project, it is representative of the rapid progress the PNGV/USCAR partners have been making, and can make, in the development of fuel-efficient concept demonstration vehicles. Limited progress was reported under the auspices of the PNGV on technologies beyond those selected for the concept vehicles, except in the area of fuel cells, where progress on stack-power density (abroad) and on fuel reformers (in the United States) has exceeded expectations. In the committee's third report, the PNGV provided a list of major barriers and program needs, which the committee asked the PNGV to update for this report (see Table 6-2). Although important technical advances have been made in the PNGV program, the remaining barriers make the achievement of a vehicle that approaches the 80 mpg fuel economy level and meets all of the other Goal 3 objectives a daunting challenge. Based on a presentation by the PNGV, the committee identified the following principal barriers or technologies for the concept demonstration vehicles:

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TABLE 6-2 PNGV's Assessment of Major Barriers and Program Needs Issues Challenges Technical • control of particulates and NOx from 4SDI engines • compact fuel-flexible fuel processor for PEM fuel cells • thermal management of lithium battery systems • lightweight, highly efficient power electronics Production cost • low-cost lamination material and processing for electric rotors and stators • low-cost aluminum sheet, magnesium, and carbon fiber • low-cost power electronic components and systems • low-cost high-pressure common rail fuel injector and pump • low-cost fabrication processes for batteries and fuel cells Funding • cost-sharing for high-risk programs • mobilization of supplier resources • long lead-time from identification of an R&D need to initiation of a government contract • administrative complexity of government programs • nonstrategic distribution of resources Schedule • difficulties of meeting all performance and cost targets by 2004 because of continuing funding limitations • recognition that technology selections occur continually throughout the program as data-driven events Other • potential changes in emissions regulations • mobilizing the energy industry to enable joint research to achieve emissions/fuel economy targets   Source: Provided by the PNGV in response to a committee request as an update to Table 6-2 from the committee's third report (NRC, 1997). meeting overall cost objectives in all major areas meeting the stringent emissions target for CIDI engines with an acceptable fuel infrastructure developing efficient systems for recovering braking energy and using it to meet peak power demands meeting safety targets and extending the life cycle of batteries in HEVs The committee identified the following principal barriers for technologies beyond the concept vehicle demonstrations: reducing fuel-cell system cost and improving reformer performance (including emissions, efficiency, and start-up cycle) improving the structural integrity and thermal efficiency for the gas turbine engine solving the safety containment problem and reducing the cost of a flywheel energy recovery system

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Recommendation. PNGV and the USCAR partners should continue to make safety a high priority as they move toward realization of the concept vehicles. VEHICLE SAFETY New structural materials, power plants, fuels (including hydrogen), energy storage devices, and glazing materials are being considered by the PNGV to improve power train efficiency, energy storage, and weight reduction. For every new technology, new failure modes and safety concerns will have to be considered, including crash performance, flammability, explosion, electrical shock, and toxicity. The committee decided not to review safety issues in depth with the PNGV technical teams until the technology selection milestone has been completed but is satisfied that they are aware of many safety issues and are addressing them on an ongoing basis as part of the overall program. For example, failure modes for all promising technologies are being investigated; the safety concerns associated with handling and storing onboard hydrogen for fuel-cell powered vehicles are being examined; and computer simulations are being used to examine the crash performance of hybrid vehicles. It has been well documented that when vehicles are downsized to reduce their weight, occupant safety is reduced (DOT, 1997b). The PNGV weight reduction targets are not being met by downsizing the vehicle but by using lightweight materials. Consequently, the crush space for frontal, side, and rear impacts will be comparable to today's vehicles. Nevertheless, there is likely to be some reduction in crash performance because a lighter vehicle undergoes a larger rate of velocity change than a heavier one when hitting moveable objects, such as other vehicles or breakaway light posts. New design concepts for improving crash performance may have to be implemented to offset this disadvantage. If a significant number of lightweight automobiles with high fuel economy penetrate the market, then the increased weight differential between these vehicles and light trucks (pickups, minivans, and sport utility vehicles) could lead to an increase in injuries and fatalities. If the weight reduction technologies being evaluated by PNGV for midsize cars are simultaneously introduced into the marketplace in light trucks, there could be an overall reduction in injuries and fatalities because the weight differential between those trucks and cars in the existing vehicle fleet would be reduced. Also, major weight reductions in other classes of vehicles would have a very large impact on the total fuel consumption of the nation's personal transportation fleet, which is a fundamental goal of the PNGV program. The committee believes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should become involved in crashworthiness studies of lightweight vehicles comparable to PNGV vehicle designs.

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Recommendation. The PNGV and USCAR partners should continue to make safety a high priority as they move toward the realization of the concept vehicles. DEVELOPMENTS IN FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY The USCAR partners monitor foreign technology independently, and the committee has been unable to determine PNGV's or the USCAR companies' views of the importance of developments in foreign technology and product plans except in very limited areas. The following comments on international developments are based mostly on the personal observations and knowledge of the committee members. In spite of progress in the PNGV program, the committee is concerned that the pace and funding of PNGV advanced developments may not be at a level to stay competitive on an international basis. In early January 1998, news releases from individual USCAR members tacitly recognized this fact by announcing aggressive new programs and substantial investments in new technologies. A combination of PNGV and in-house company developments and an assessment of developments in foreign technology no doubt provided an effective stimulus. The committee believes that the USCAR partners are most attuned to the near-term demands of the market, whereas foreign manufacturers, particularly in Japan and Germany, are more inclined to make larger investments in longer-term, radically new technologies. Last year, the committee cited large Japanese investments in compression-ignition and spark-ignition engines, European progress on small diesel engines, large investments in fuel cells in both Europe and Japan, and Japanese investments in lithium battery technology. This trend has continued, with significant foreign investments in advanced and alternate power trains. Foreign manufacturers have greater incentives than U.S. manufacturers because fuel costs (principally because of higher fuel taxes) are higher in their home markets, and other governments have shown a greater interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Another incentive is competing with the U.S. PNGV initiative directed to better fuel economy, which appears to have spurred increased foreign investment and the initiation of national programs in new automotive technologies. For all of these reasons, the rate of progress overseas continues to be significant in most low fuel consumption technologies. Notable progress in some areas is described below. Limited production HEVs have been introduced to the Japanese market, and numerous demonstrations have been made in the United States and throughout the world. The United States appears to be ahead in the development of motors, generators, and power conditioning. Progress on fuel cells has been impressive worldwide, with large German, Canadian, and Japanese investments, as well as successes in U.S. programs. Daimler-Benz and Toyota appear to be planning product introductions. In the fall

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of 1997, Ford joined a partnership with Ballard and Daimler-Benz to develop fuel-cell technology. The United States appears to have substantially more interest in gasoline reformers than foreign competitors. Japan reported a 37 percent efficient ceramic gas turbine engine demonstration. U.S. programs to develop automotive gas turbine engines are being canceled or phased out. Japan is a leading supplier of advanced batteries. Impressive progress has been made on the development of advanced batteries by U.S. programs. Audi introduced a lightweight, but expensive, aluminum vehicle structure to the market. Ford and Chrysler have constructed impressive demonstration vehicles that incorporate a substantial amount of aluminum and reinforced polymers. The large-scale production of high-speed automotive diesels in Europe is ongoing, and numerous product developments have been made in Japan and Europe. U.S. programs are focused on engine designs and single-cylinder tests. Test engines are based on European and Japanese technology. Significant progress was made in Japan on GDI (gasoline direct-injection) engines, where production-ready engines are claimed to have efficiencies approaching those of CIDI engines, but with potentially less severe emissions problems and fueled by existing, low-sulfur gasoline. GDI engines had discouraging technology reviews by the PNGV (see Appendix B). If reports from Japan are accurate, a near-term GDI technology could become available with lower weight and cost than the CIDI engine selected by the PNGV. PNGV GOALS 1 AND 2 Goals 1 and 2 are open-ended and do not have quantitative targets and milestones. Because the Goal 3 concept demonstration vehicles are focusing on relatively near-term technologies, the distinctions between Goal 3, Goal 1 (increasing competitiveness in manufacturing), and Goal 2 (implementing commercially viable developments from ongoing research on conventional vehicles) are becoming blurred. The development of cost-effective vehicles that meet the targets of Goal 3 will require improvements in competitive manufacturing processes and should result in technologies that can be implemented in the automotive sector. In addition, in-house company developments may satisfy all three goals simultaneously. In keeping with PNGV's request to the committee (see Appendix C) to concentrate on Goal 3 technology selection, the PNGV did not present cost improvements reflected by activities for goals 1 and 2. The committee realizes, however, that reducing costs both through manufacturing productivity and new technology will be essential to meeting the challenging cost objectives for Goal 3 vehicle systems. More than 30 projects were under way for goals 1 and 2 as of last year, but updates on their status or on new projects were not provided. This raises a

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serious question as to whether work in productivity, process improvements, and technology innovations are applicable to achieving the cost reductions required for the selected technologies. The committee was informed of significant cost reductions in the fuel-cell bi-polar plate by changing to a stamping process. If other significant improvements have already been identified, it would be useful if they were shared with the committee to bolster its confidence that the necessary work is under way. Proprietary cost data of two of the USCAR partners were reviewed by a subgroup of the committee. The committee members involved in these reviews were satisfied that these two partners were making significant and appropriate efforts to satisfy the cost analysis requirement. Recommendation. The PNGV should make sure that the priorities for activities for goals 1 and 2 are consistent with Goal 3 and the overall requirements of the program. GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN POST-CONCEPT VEHICLES The committee was asked to comment on ''the role of the government in the PNGV program after the technology selection process is complete." The development of low fuel consumption technologies will take different paths depending on whether or not they were selected for the concept vehicle demonstration configuration. The USCAR partners have decided to build separate demonstration vehicles rather than build a single, joint demonstration vehicle under the combined sponsorship of the PNGV. Leadership and management of these demonstrators will also be done individually without significant government participation, particularly in light of the relatively near-term technologies that have been selected. However, government support for the continued development of longer-term technologies would be in the national interest and would be consistent with the PNGV's objectives. PNGV should consider a national initiative to establish U. S. leadership in CIDI engines with low emissions, weight, and fuel consumption, as well as programs to accelerate the availability of economical manufacturing methods for low-weight vehicles. Government programs related to fuel infrastructure and vehicle safety also appear to be appropriate for government investment although programs related to other developments important to improving fuel economy, such as the development of low-loss transmissions and accessories, are less appropriate for government involvement. This issue was addressed in a recent NRC report that concluded that DOE funding and coordination of precompetitive R&D were important to the overall success of developing high-risk automotive technologies with high potential payoffs (NRC, 1998). However, a government role in technology areas where industry is either already doing proprietary work on its own or is likely to undertake

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proprietary work in the expectation of a return on its investment, was not recommended. The government should take the leading role in the development of post-concept demonstration technologies. The government's primary role has traditionally been to support the development of longer-term technologies for which industrial development is unlikely because of the high risks and long development horizons. Development of high-thermal-efficiency, low-emission technologies are especially important because of current concerns about greenhouse gases, as well as the potential benefits to U.S. economic competitiveness and balance of payments. Consequently, the committee supports the recommendations of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology to increase investment substantially in this area (PCAST, 1997).Specific areas that the committee believes are appropriate for federal research and development are listed below (see also NRC [1998]): Technologies Selected for the 2000 Concept Vehicle accelerated, short-term research on CIDI engine combustion and emissions research on manufacturing methods for lightweight structural materials analysis of fuel infrastructure issues analysis of vehicle safety issues longer-term research on electrochemical storage devices longer-term research on power electronics technologies Technologies Selected for the Post-Concept Vehicle system development and demonstration of fuel cells with emphasis on cost, fuel reforming, and start-up and transient strategies development of enabling technologies for advanced gas turbine ceramic components and systems analysis to determine if further development is warranted development of enabling technologies for the containment of flywheels and systems analysis to determine if further development is warranted development of advanced batteries with longer life, improved performance, enhanced safety, and lower cost Recommendation. The government should significantly expand its support for the development of selected long-term PNGV technologies that have the potential to improve fuel economy, lower emissions, and be commercially viable. PNGV'S INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER FEDERAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS The committee was asked to "consider and comment on how the PNGV program should interact with other federal research programs." To fulfill this

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request, the committee had to consider the nature of PNGV and the nature of federal research programs that are considered to be PNGV-related. The PNGV is a partnership of seven government agencies1 and three U.S. domestic car companies. Through technical and management committees, PNGV makes recommendations on programs and expenditures but, with few exceptions, does not directly control the direction or expenditures of individual projects. Projects are budgeted and controlled by individual government agencies and by individual USCAR partners and suppliers or jointly under the auspices of USCAR. Some university and DOE national laboratory projects can also be considered PNGV projects, but PNGV does not have the line management structure or budgetary authority necessary to control projects directly. Thus, the primary functions of PNGV are communication and exchanges of ideas among the partners regarding technologies and projects that relate to automobiles, and coordinating, recommending, and planning future projects. The committee was given to understand that the government's expenditures on PNGV in fiscal year 1997 approached $300 million (NRC, 1997). The PNGV issued an estimate that federal funding for fiscal year 1998 was about $225 million (PNGV, 1998). The government's analysis has not been publicly released, but the committee understands that only about half of this total is budgeted specifically for work related to automotive technology, most of it in DOE's OAAT.2 The remainder is spent on work by various agencies in fulfillment of non-automotive missions but is considered as PNGV funding because the work is in fields of technology that have possible automotive applications. There is no uniform criterion for including or excluding projects, and a substantial amount of the total probably has marginal applicability to the automotive field. At the same time, relevant work is probably omitted. For example, all work by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is omitted from this listing by congressional direction, and significant U.S. Department of Defense activities in related fields may also have been omitted. It is not clear to the committee to what degree PNGV activities are coordinated with government-funded R&D on engines for larger vehicles, such as light trucks, sport utility vehicles, and heavy trucks. Given the increasing importance of light trucks and sport utility vehicles in the U.S. market, coordination between programs, such as OAAT's activities and R&D on CIDI engines for light trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, is important (NRC, 1998). 1   The seven federal government agencies in PNGV are the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. 2   The OAAT budget for fiscal year 1997 was about $125 million. PNGV-related activities include vehicle systems ($39.7 million); advanced heat engines ($19.1 million); fuel cells ($21.2 million); high power energy storage ($8 million); power electronics and electric machines ($3 million); advanced automotive materials ($13.9 million); and alternative fuels ($2.8 million) (NRC, 1998).

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The committee wishes to stress that bookkeeping is not the issue. The issue is how PNGV can achieve its goals, how the public can reap the maximum benefit from government-funded development, and how PNGV can encourage the support of technologies that will have high payoffs for automotive application. PNGV technical teams and committees should continue to monitor emerging developments, both privately and federally funded, and to conduct systems analysis and design studies to identify developments that could contribute to low emissions, low fuel consumption, and low cost of ownership. The PNGV should have unrestricted access to all relevant federal research programs. The vehicle, subsystem, and component models being created for PNGV could be very useful in the Intelligent Transportation System Program, and in certain National Highway Traffic Safety Administration programs including the development of a vehicle simulator, the development of a vehicle with variable handling characteristics,3 and the intelligent vehicle initiative, which is in the planning phase and not yet funded. 4 PNGV should continue to establish and maintain communication with these groups and to make PNGV's computer models and system analysis tools available. In addition, because the U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulates vehicle safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could appropriately become involved in crashworthiness studies of lightweight vehicles. (See a recent study on vehicle size and weight as related to safety [DOT, 1997b]). PNGV government managers should continue to interact with other federal research programs by sharing their conclusions regarding high payoff technologies for long-term application to automobiles and by recommending to the government agencies within the partnership redirections or augmentations of ongoing projects that would maximize synergy with PNGV goals. PNGV managers should also recommend that projects that contribute to meeting PNGV goals be included in their future budget requests. The technologies recommended by the PNGV will probably change over time in response to new systems analyses and progress in research investigations. Recommendation. The PNGV should expand its liaison role for the exchange of technology information among federal research programs that are relevant to automotive technologies and should accelerate the sharing of results among the participants in the PNGV on long-term, high payoff technologies applicable to automobiles. 3   For example, a vehicle could incorporate rear wheel steering on demand or yaw control to correct skids. 4   The goal of the intelligent vehicle initiative is to accelerate the development, introduction, and commercialization of driver assistance products to reduce motor vehicle crashes and incidents (DOT, 1997a).