Figure 10.1

Reaching a threefold increase in fuel economy.

resources consistent with the requirement to demonstrate proof of technical concept at the vehicle level in calendar year 2000. Toward that end, technology selections scheduled for calendar year 1997 were accomplished and focused attention on lightweight materials, four-stroke direct injection engines, hybrid electric drivetrains, and fuel cell systems (see Figure 10.2).

Proof-of-technical-concept vehicles will demonstrate the fuel economy attainable in fully realistic five-passenger vehicle designs during calendar year 2000. The concept vehicles are deliverables for the industry that is responsible. The government is responsible for support of the high-risk R&D needed to create the knowledge base that underpins the technology development. The next stage of the program will focus on improved vehicle utility and reduced cost as the program drives toward production feasibility. The many needs for new understandings in chemistry and physics will underlie the manufacturing challenges in that focus period of the program (see Figure 10.3).

Elements of the Program Critical to its Success

Of the many critical features of this program, six can be highlighted as essential to its success from an industry perspective:

  • Compelling significance: societal benefit and technical challenge,
  • Commitment,
  • Cognizance of market forces,
  • Reinvention of relationships,
  • Diverse resource base, and
  • Accountability.

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