March 3, 1995

National Research Council

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418

Dear Sirs:

The Government/Industry Operational Steering Group (OSG) of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) wishes to thank you for the program review that you performed last year. We especially wish to commend the National Research Council for completing this review so expeditiously and for adopting procedures to protect any proprietary information that may have been needed to provide a more complete understanding of the program. PNGV is an innovative program in many respects and we are pleased that the NRC has entered into the spirit of this national venture to develop more efficient means of public/private sector cooperation.

The NRC report contained a number of findings and recommendations. We have studied these carefully and believe all were helpful perspectives, even when we disagree somewhat on the details. We would like to respond briefly here to some of the major recommendations and offer more detailed dialog during the next peer review.

The NRC noted that the PNGV program needs to have broad national support over a sustained period of time to be able to accomplish its objectives. We agree completely with this observation. We have strengthened our public outreach program and believe that we have made substantial progress in making more people aware of PNGV. Our contacts have provided encouraging signs that support for the program is broad. In addition, recognizing that the new Congress has many questions about PNGV, we have established a joint congressional liaison group to help provide to Congress the information they will need to support PNGV.

We agree with the NRC observation that management of a program with such broad and diverse participation will be a major challenge. We have evolved a tiered structure of an Operational Steering Group and Technical Teams led by competent executives on both the government and industry sides. We believe that this structure is necessary, for the effective integration of program elements, between agencies, within agency operating plans and between government and industry. While we recognize that we must be open to innovative suggestions as to how to manage the program more effectively, we do not feel that the suggestion for a single, central program manager for

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