• Assess the relevance of that ongoing research and its management to the PNGV's goals and schedule.

  • Prepare a second peer review report.

In fulfilling the assigned tasks, the committee took as given the vision, goals, and schedules for the PNGV program that were articulated by the President and agreed to by USCAR in September 1993. The committee also operated under the premise that the program would be seriously supported and pursued by the government and industry partners. Given the lack of quantitative objectives for Goals 1 and 2, as well as the time constraints on conducting the second peer review, the committee chose to focus on activities relating to Goal 3. The current absence of quantitative objectives for Goals 1 and 2 complicates any assessment of progress toward these goals.

This report is based on presentations made to the committee by the PNGV (i.e., by representatives of industry and the government, including the national laboratories) on August 27–31, 1995, in Dearborn, Michigan, and on October 30–31, 1995, in Washington, D.C. These presentations were supplemented by committee member site visits to the engineering development facilities of the USCAR partners (see appendix B). Some of the material was presented to the committee as USCAR proprietary information under an agreement signed by the National Academy of Sciences; USCAR; and the U.S. government, represented by DOC. At the meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 30–31, 1995, the committee also received briefings from U.S. and overseas organizations outside the present PNGV. The information presented allowed the committee to assess the status of various PNGV technology developments from a broad, international perspective.

The PNGV concept is to bring together the extensive research and development resources of the federal establishment, including its national laboratories and network of university-based research institutions, and the vehicle design, manufacturing, and marketing capabilities of both the USCAR partners and suppliers to the automotive industry. Government funding for the PNGV will primarily be used for technology developments that involve high risk (Goal 3 and beyond). USCAR funding will be used mainly to develop technologies with clear, near-term market potential (Goals 1 and 2).

The PNGV program was launched just over two years ago, in September 1993. The first major program milestone is scheduled for 1997, when the PNGV must select technologies for the concept vehicles that will be designed, developed, and fabricated by 2000. The technical challenges are daunting, and, as discussed herein, inventions and breakthroughs are needed before certain technologies can be considered as viable options for selection in 1997. At present the PNGV is diligently pursuing research and development (R&D) programs focused on specified technical targets; however, major

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