General Overview

The PNGV represents a new model of collaboration between the U.S. government and the U.S. domestic automotive industry through USCAR. It marks a significant departure from the traditional mode of interactions, which, for the most part, has relied on federal standards and regulations with little or no formal collaboration among companies or between government and the industry.

As the committee understands it, the premise of the PNGV rests on government leadership and participation in long-term, high-risk R &D to achieve Goal 3, which industry would not normally undertake alone. In addition, the industry role is to be complemented by government R&D to achieve goal 1 and goal 2. These goals demand near-term technology applications and the creation of the manufacturing base for a technological future that is driven by Goal 3, which will potentially involve radically different products, processes, and supporting infrastructures.

The committee was informed that several existing government-sponsored research projects related to advanced automobile research have been placed under the PNGV umbrella. These include national projects on fuel cells, batteries, gas turbines, and hybrid vehicles. Industry, in turn, has identified cooperative activities in emissions control, batteries, materials, environmental conservation, safety, and vehicle design and analysis, all of which contribute significantly to the PNGV goals. Additional government research projects have been identified by the PNGV from an inventory of more than 500 interagency research activities that potentially relate to PNGV goals. The final selection of projects from the inventory is being made by industry members, who can best assess the potential of the research for commercialization.

The PNGV program is co-funded by the government and USCAR, who have reached agreement that goal 1, goal 2, and goal 3 are reasonably achievable (White House, 1993).

THE PNGV ORGANIZATION

The existing PNGV organizational structure involves a federation of government and industry steering groups (known collectively as the PNGV Operational Steering Group) that oversee the Technical Team, which is made up of government and industry units (PNGV, 1994). The committee knows of no precedent within the U.S. automotive industry for the kind of government–industry cooperation envisioned in the PNGV. The committee noted that program management, fiscal control, and communications needed to achieve the PNGV program goals are still evolving. PNGV is a year into the partnership and still lacks detailed and defined program plans,



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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES General Overview The PNGV represents a new model of collaboration between the U.S. government and the U.S. domestic automotive industry through USCAR. It marks a significant departure from the traditional mode of interactions, which, for the most part, has relied on federal standards and regulations with little or no formal collaboration among companies or between government and the industry. As the committee understands it, the premise of the PNGV rests on government leadership and participation in long-term, high-risk R &D to achieve Goal 3, which industry would not normally undertake alone. In addition, the industry role is to be complemented by government R&D to achieve goal 1 and goal 2. These goals demand near-term technology applications and the creation of the manufacturing base for a technological future that is driven by Goal 3, which will potentially involve radically different products, processes, and supporting infrastructures. The committee was informed that several existing government-sponsored research projects related to advanced automobile research have been placed under the PNGV umbrella. These include national projects on fuel cells, batteries, gas turbines, and hybrid vehicles. Industry, in turn, has identified cooperative activities in emissions control, batteries, materials, environmental conservation, safety, and vehicle design and analysis, all of which contribute significantly to the PNGV goals. Additional government research projects have been identified by the PNGV from an inventory of more than 500 interagency research activities that potentially relate to PNGV goals. The final selection of projects from the inventory is being made by industry members, who can best assess the potential of the research for commercialization. The PNGV program is co-funded by the government and USCAR, who have reached agreement that goal 1, goal 2, and goal 3 are reasonably achievable (White House, 1993). THE PNGV ORGANIZATION The existing PNGV organizational structure involves a federation of government and industry steering groups (known collectively as the PNGV Operational Steering Group) that oversee the Technical Team, which is made up of government and industry units (PNGV, 1994). The committee knows of no precedent within the U.S. automotive industry for the kind of government–industry cooperation envisioned in the PNGV. The committee noted that program management, fiscal control, and communications needed to achieve the PNGV program goals are still evolving. PNGV is a year into the partnership and still lacks detailed and defined program plans,

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES schedules, and milestones that have been agreed to in either the government or industry organizations. On the government side, some of the management challenges extend across a number of independent organizations. R&D activities, personnel, and contractors from seven federal agencies are involved. These agencies are the Department of Commerce; the Department of Defense; the Department of Energy, which is a major contributor to the PNGV; the Department of Transportation; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Science Foundation. Each agency has its own traditional missions, constituencies, values, goals, timetables, and budgets. In addition, each has a different operating environment. Few, if any, of the current inventory of federal R&D projects that are relevant to the PNGV were developed specifically for the partnership. The committee understood that there was no efficient mechanism for information retrieval that could have facilitated the start-up of the PNGV program. Such a mechanism would have had to comprehensively survey the current federal R&D program of approximately $70 billion to $80 billion. The committee also observed that a surprisingly small portion of current research has been identified to date by some agencies (e.g., the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as potentially applicable to the program. This may be simply due to a lack of information or understanding regarding such applicability or due to a lack of interest on the part of departments and agencies involved. On the industry side, the situation is better but not without problems. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have come together in USCAR to jointly support the development of a variety of different technologies. However, USCAR has no experience in jointly developing and building concept and production prototype cars, as demanded by Goal 3, and only limited experience working in collaboration with government research establishments to the degree envisioned in the PNGV. The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) was described to the committee as a recent, successful government–industry effort that was jointly funded to develop batteries for electric vehicles. It was suggested that the USABC might serve as a model for the PNGV. However, the committee did not have the opportunity to examine the USABC program structure in any detail at the Dearborn meeting. The committee noted that antitrust laws and basic competitive and proprietary interests tend to limit the sharing of technologies and information between companies. The committee heard repeatedly that company internal budgets and in-house efforts related particularly to goal 1 and goal 2 will not be shared outside of the individual companies. PRIMARY TECHNOLOGIES BEING CONSIDERED The PNGV participants presented information on a wide variety of technologies that have potential to meet the requirements of the program’s goals. It is the committee’s view that no significant technology was omitted that had the potential to be developed within the time frame of the PNGV program.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES High-speed diesel engines are under consideration. The enabling technologies required for their success are a NOx reducing catalyst capable of operating in an oxidizing atmosphere and, possibly, a particulate trap. Fuel cells are being pursued as a potential candidate. Research in this technology is being directed at a number of areas, including size, weight, cost, and fuel supply systems. The PNGV presenters considered some other technologies in their present state of development to be unlikely to meet the PNGV program goals. For example, based upon an analysis of first-order energy requirements and possible system improvements, the gasoline piston engine is judged to be unlikely to reach Goal 3. Another example is battery development, which, in the time frame considered, is not expected to allow an electric vehicle that is solely battery powered to meet Goal 3 requirements. Several developments are underway that are applicable to both goal 2 and goal 3, and, when appropriate, such developments are considered for their Goal 1 potential. Lightweight body and chassis materials fall into this category. Improvements in structures made from aluminum, magnesium, high-strength steel, metal matrix composites, and polymer and polymer matrix composites are also being pursued, as are disassembly and recycling of these materials. It is important that the manufacturability of all technology developments involving new materials, subsystems, and systems be a specific element of vehicle application analyses. New design analysis techniques, including optimal design methods, structural optimization, crash energy management, and durability prediction are being studied. Efforts to reduce power requirements by lowering aerodynamic, rolling resistance and accessory loads are also equally applicable to goal 2 and 3. Two major cost-shared projects (one executed by the U.S. Department of Energy with Ford and the other with General Motors) have been underway to develop hybrid (combustion engine/electric) powertrains. These projects were initiated prior to the establishment of the PNGV but are now under the umbrella of the PNGV R&D program. The powerplants being considered for the hybrid vehicles in these projects include gas turbines and internal combustion piston engines. These vehicles are aimed at achieving two but not three times the energy efficiency of current vehicles. However, a wide variety of components are being studied and developed for these hybrids, which may be of use in the Goal 3 concept vehicles. These components include energy storage devices (e.g., batteries, flywheels, ultracapacitors) and electrical system components (e.g., energy/power management devices, electric drive and regenerative motors, high-efficiency electric auxiliary components). Under Goal 2, a large number of technologies (including lean burn engines, two- stroke engines, and improvements to conventional piston engines) are being pursued through USCAR, as well as in proprietary company programs. These programs also consider reduced-mass reciprocating components, lower friction, use of aluminum and magnesium, and fiber-reinforced parts. Major efforts are being made to reduce emissions by better fuel preparation and control, control of hydrocarbon formation during combustion, and improved post-combustion treatment for cold bag emissions. Under Goal 1, a very wide group of technologies must be studied. This manufacturing improvement goal is intended to support both goal 2 and goal 3. However, it is very difficult to determine the manufacturing developments that will be needed for Goal 3 until the variety of candidate materials and powerplant designs is reduced and

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES specifications are established. In addition to those technologies mentioned above, many manufacturing developments were identified by the PNGV as potentially promising and are being pursued or considered. These include simulation and modeling, systems and software integration, agile practices and flexible manufacturing and assembly, rapid tool and die fabrication, dry machining aluminum, leak testing and detection, process optimization, thin-wall castings, magnesium castings, and joining of materials. TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY The PNGV program plan suggests that priorities for selecting technologies are based on the potential of the technologies to meet the goals and also be commercially viable. During the program’s first year, the technology selection strategy for PNGV has been developed, and the implementation of the strategy has begun. The current program supports a wide variety of technologies with the expectation that many will be dropped by the PNGV as configuration decisions for the concept vehicle are made in 1997. From the PNGV’s technology presentations, it was apparent to the committee that several parallel paths for R&D are being pursued initially and that the technologies required may shift rapidly as the program proceeds. The PNGV has begun to apply systems analysis methodology as a decision support and management tool. The PNGV has indicated its intention to use systems analysis more extensively to guide the program and assist in decision making. The PNGV’s approach involves developing a computer model of a vehicle, which would include most aspects of structure, powertrain, safety, etc. Such a model can be used to do tradeoff studies and to set performance goals for the various subsystem and component R&D projects. The strategies currently being used for each goal are as follows: Goal 3 The measures of performance, or metrics, for Goal 3 were initially established by the PNGV by defining broad vehicle specifications for a mid-sized automobile. Then, improvements needed to achieve a fuel economy of 80 miles per gallon of gasoline or its energy equivalent (i.e., miles per 114,132 British Thermal Units) were derived, based on the energy distribution for current vehicles and on a projection of technology developments that have potential to achieve these improvements. These technology areas were matched with existing government and industry research programs. The intent is to monitor progress and to allocate government and industry resources to those technologies that show the most promise for meeting the PNGV program goals. As the PNGV program proceeds, the focus must narrow until it is possible to choose technologies that will define a concept vehicle (or vehicles) with potential to meet the Goal 3 objectives. The concept vehicle (or vehicles) will be built, evaluated, and developed to the point where one or more systems are ready for incorporation into a production prototype. The PNGV expressed the view that the stringent fuel-economy and cost objectives of Goal 3 mandate that only very advanced

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES materials and powertrain technologies be considered as viable candidates for the R&D program. Goal 2 As noted earlier, there are no metrics to establish timing or measures of success for either Goal 1 or Goal 2. The technologies initially identified by the PNGV as applicable to Goal 2 are a subset of USCAR and government collaborative efforts, chosen with priority given to those that achieve near-term fuel economy and emissions improvements in conventional vehicles. A list has been created of existing government-supported research projects that are potentially appropriate, and the PNGV’s intent is to select those (1) with promise of producing improvements for current internal combustion engines or (2) that could effect a reduction in energy demand from such engines. Resources are to be allocated to those technologies promising the greatest improvements in fuel economy without compromising emission levels. The industry partners also emphasized to the committee that they have extensive proprietary development programs underway in their individual organizations that will complement the improvements in fuel economy and emissions to be achieved in Goal 2. Goal 1 Three broad areas have been chosen under Goal 1 that are aimed at significantly improving national competitiveness in manufacturing and that support both goal 2 and goal 3: design for manufacturing, virtual manufacturing, high-performance computing; rapid prototyping and intelligent processes; and agile manufacturing. The committee was informed that technology selections (pertaining to Goal 1) are being made from a broad list of existing government-supported, manufacturing-based research projects that are potentially applicable to the PNGV program. It is the committee’s understanding that sixteen specific manufacturing projects in eight areas have been identified and are being implemented. SOURCES OF TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION The current technologies under consideration by the PNGV are based on pooling existing government and USCAR R&D projects. There are many other potential sources of technological innovation.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES Suppliers to automobile manufacturers are a particularly rich potential source of pertinent new technology. Some are already involved, particularly in the materials area, and plans have been made to inform others of the program needs through ongoing PNGV workshops. The committee noted the absence of university research as a line item on the PNGV R&D agenda. However, both industry and government officials explained that they will seek university participation relevant to the needs of the PNGV program. The committee was informed that several workshops are being planned in the upcoming months to explore with university researchers and industry representatives the scientific, engineering, and technological issues posed by the PNGV program. Each workshop is to have a focus area, such as fuel cells, electric vehicles, lightweight materials, etc. Advanced manufacturing issues associated with these technologies will also be covered. The workshops are to be used by agencies such as the National Science Foundation to set up research agendas in support of the PNGV. It is the committee’s understanding that future workshops have not been firmed up at this juncture and are awaiting direction from USCAR. The committee noted that the existence of the PNGV has given additional impetus to the efforts of foreign competitors of the domestic manufacturers to improve fuel economy. Vehicles with fuel economy above 2X (where X is the fuel economy of baseline vehicles today) have been demonstrated by foreign competitors, and the PNGV program has spurred further competitive development and commercialization of these vehicles. In addition, organizations similar to USCAR have been formed in Europe and in Japan. RESOURCES FOR THE PNGV The vast majority of the resources devoted to the PNGV program are for research in promising technologies. Advanced propulsion technologies seem to be particularly well represented in the program, compared with others such as chassis and manufacturing technologies. Federal elements of the PNGV program have been justified and funded under other criteria. The initial years of the PNGV call for the evaluation of a wide range of technologies. The research funding for these technologies is included under the PNGV umbrella even though objectives of the agency originally conducting the research may not totally support the PNGV objectives or schedule. The government resources presently applied to the PNGV rely on funds appropriated to seven different departments or agencies. Within these departments and agencies, dozens of federal laboratories are involved —each with its own mission and budget priorities. Typically, PNGV program managers are directed to work within existing budget mechanisms and are not authorized to shift resources to meet the needs and priorities of the PNGV program. As yet, resources have not been targeted on a goal-specific basis. The size of government resources allocated to meet PNGV program goals during fiscal year 1994 was computed from the automotive-related programs that are already in place and from the budgets of the existing interagency research projects selected from that inventory

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES as potentially applicable to the PNGV goals. The committee was informed that similar industry resources complement the government commitment in magnitude. Government managers indicated that fiscal year 1995 resources may be reallocated to support underfunded items and that existing programs may be reoriented to meet the needs and timing of PNGV. However, the mechanism for making these funding and schedule changes was not made clear to the committee. There was uncertainty among government personnel regarding the degree to which agreements and procedures for interdepartmental cooperation have been formulated. The fiscal year 1996 budget will be the first opportunity to gain new funds appropriated for PNGV. It is the committee’s understanding that, in this budget, the funds will continue to be appropriated to the various agencies participating in the project. The Clinton administration has stated that it will not seek new R &D funds for the PNGV. It is the committee’s understanding that agency budgets and oversight for these projects are the responsibility of a large number of different congressional committees and subcommittees, many of whom may not have been consulted yet about moving projects or reallocating resources under their jurisdiction into PNGV. INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL NEEDS The road transportation sector in the United States is composed of over 190 million registered on-highway motor vehicles (including automobiles, trucks, and buses but excluding two-wheel vehicles) that are produced and supported by mammoth manufacturing and service industries (FHWA, 1993). These combined industries have hundreds of billions of dollars of capital invested to support one of the world’s most effective and extensive road transportation systems. Additionally, about one in every ten members of the U.S. work force is engaged in some aspect of the road transportation sector (ETF, 1994). These huge investments and large manpower resources have been developed to their current level of high efficiency and effectiveness over a century of intense planning and development. The committee believes that the potential for substantial vehicle manufacturing and road transportation system discontinuities would have to be addressed, particularly in the areas of materials, powertrains, and fuels, when Goal 3 vehicles become a reality in the marketplace. Two possible examples are the major impacts that will occur if the use of hydrogen instead of gasoline or the use of advanced, lightweight, nonmetallic, materials instead of steel are required. Such impacts of technological changes on today’s manufacturing and service industries merit future study in the PNGV program. The impacts need to be addressed relative to the rate at which PNGV-type vehicles are produced and bought by consumers. While they were not specifically addressed at the review meeting, the committee suggests that the PNGV be cognizant of other national initiatives and programs that, if implemented, will impact the on-road transportation infrastructure (e.g., the Intelligent Vehicle Highway System program, which is now administered by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America).

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES NATIONAL COMMITMENT In initiating the PNGV, the Clinton administration stated its commitment to the project as a new model of cooperation between government and industry. Currently, the PNGV program is almost exclusively an administration –USCAR initiative. However, it is the committee’s view that congressional and public support for the program is crucial if the program is going to have a realistic chance of success over the long term.