Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels
Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract DE-DT001481, TO#2, between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-26852-3
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-26852-4
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013932897
|Copies of this report are available in limited supply, free of charge, from:||Additional copies of this report are available for sale from:|
|Board on Energy and Environmental Systems||The National Academies Press|
|National Research Council||500 Fifth Street, NW|
|500 Fifth Street, NW||Keck 360|
|Keck W934||Washington, DC 20001|
|Washington, DC 20001||(800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313|
Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
COMMITTTEE ON TRANSITIONS TO ALTERNATIVE VEHICLES AND FUELS
DOUGLAS M. CHAPIN, Chair, NAE,1 MPR Associates, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia
RALPH BRODD, Broddarp of Nevada, Henderson
GARY COWGER, GLC Ventures, LLC, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
JOHN M. DECICCO, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
GEORGE C. EADS, Charles River Associates (retired), Washington, District of Columbia
RAMON ESPINO, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
JOHN M. GERMAN, International Council for Clean Transportation, Ann Arbor, Michigan
DAVID L. GREENE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, Tennessee
JUDITH GREENWALD, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Arlington, Virginia
L. LOUIS HEGEDUS, NAE, Arkema, Inc. (retired), Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
JOHN HEYWOOD, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
VIRGINIA McCONNELL, Resources for the Future, Washington, District of Columbia
STEPHEN J. McGOVERN, PetroTech Consultants LLC, Voorhees, New Jersey
GENE NEMANICH, ChevronTexaco Corporation (retired), Scottsdale, Arizona
JOHN O’DELL, Edmunds, Inc., Orange, California
ROBERT F. SAWYER, NAE, University of California, Berkeley
CHRISTINE S. SLOANE, Sloane Solutions, LLC, Kewadin, Michigan
WILLIAM H. WALSH, JR., Consultant, McLean, Virginia
MICHAEL E. WEBBER, University of Texas at Austin
ALAN T. CRANE, Senior Scientist and Study Director
JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Director, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems
JONNA HAMILTON, Program Officer (until December 2011)
EVONNE TANG, Senior Program Officer (beginning December 2011)
DAVID W. COOKE, Associate Program Officer
ALICE V. WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant
LANITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator
DANA CAINES, Financial Manager
DAN MESZLER, Meszler Engineering Services
STEVE PLOTKIN, Argonne National Laboratory
MARC MELAINA, Consultant
MICHAEL P. RAMAGE, NAE, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired)
JAMES R. KATZER, NAE, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired)
GARY W. ROGERS, FEV, Inc.
DEAN TOMAZIC, FEV, Inc.
AARON BIRCKETT, FEV, Inc.
1NAE = Member, National Academy of Engineering.
BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
ANDREW BROWN, JR., Chair, NAE,1 Delphi Corporation, Troy, Michigan
WILLIAM BANHOLZER, NAE, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan
MARILYN BROWN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
WILLIAM CAVANAUGH III, Progress Energy (retired), Raleigh, North Carolina
PAUL DeCOTIS, Long Island Power Authority, Albany, New York
CHRISTINE EHLIG-ECONOMIDES, NAE, Texas A&M University, College Station
SHERRI GOODMAN, CNA, Alexandria, Virginia
NARAIN HINGORANI, NAE, Independent Consultant, Los Altos Hills, California
ROBERT HUGGETT, Independent Consultant, Seaford, Virginia
DEBBIE NIEMEIER, University of California, Davis
DANIEL NOCERA, NAS,2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
MICHAEL OPPENHEIMER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
DAN REICHER, Stanford University, Stanford, California
BERNARD ROBERTSON, NAE, Daimler-Chrysler (retired), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
GARY ROGERS, FEV, Inc., Auburn Hills, Michigan
ALISON SILVERSTEIN, Consultant, Pflugerville, Texas
MARK THIEMENS, NAS, University of California, San Diego
RICHARD WHITE, Oppenheimer & Company, New York City
JAMES ZUCCHETTO, Director
DANA CAINES, Financial Associate
DAVID W. COOKE, Associate Program Officer
ALAN T. CRANE, Senior Scientist
K. JOHN HOLMES, Associate Director
LaNITA JONES, Administrative Coordinator
ALICE WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant
JONATHAN YANGER, Senior Project Assistant
1National Academy of Engineering.
2National Academy of Sciences.
The U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet is responsible for about half the petroleum consumed in this nation and about 17 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions. Concerns over national security and climate change have increased interest in alternative ways to power the fleet.
Many technologies, with widely varying levels of current capability, cost, and commercialization, can reduce light-duty vehicle petroleum consumption, and most of these also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, any transition to achieve high levels of reduction is likely to take decades. The timeframe of this study goes out to 2050. Projecting the cost and performance of technologies out that far entails many uncertainties. The technical issues alone are extraordinarily complex and interrelated. Further, its statement of task also asked the Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels to consider the related policy options.
The committee’s analyses, while exploratory and not definitive, having significant uncertainty, indicate that the costs and benefits of large reductions in petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will both be substantial. Its work also suggests that policy will be an essential element in achieving these reductions. Alternative vehicles and some fuels will be more expensive than their current equivalents, at least for several decades, and advanced technology could be used for increased power or other purposes rather than be focused solely on reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is critical to have a clear vision of the options and how they might be implemented if progress is to be made efficiently with a minimum of disruption and a maximum of net benefits. This report explores those options and the related issues, and it sheds light on the decisions the nation may be making.
The members of the study committee worked extraordinarily hard on this task. I am very grateful for their efforts. They represent a remarkably broad and accomplished group of experts. Given the complex nature of the task at hand, producing a report that was satisfactory in every detail to every member was challenging. Given the difficulty we have had in achieving consensus, I will not attempt to summarize the result here. The report speaks for itself.
The committee and I greatly appreciate the efforts made by our highly qualified consultants and the many others who contributed directly to our deliberations via presentations and discussions and the many authors on whose work we relied.
The committee operated under the auspices of the NRC’s Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. We owe a special debt of gratitude to James Zucchetto, Alan Crane, Evonne Tang, David Cooke, and Alice Williams of the NRC staff. In spite of what must have
seemed like an endless succession of in-person and conference call consultations among the full committee and working groups, meetings to gather information, and revision of the text, their energy and professionalism never wavered. The committee and I personally offer our heartfelt thanks.
Douglas M. Chapin, Chair
Committee on Transitions to
Alternative Vehicles and Fuels
The Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels is grateful to the many individuals who contributed their time and efforts to this National Research Council (NRC) study.
The presentations at committee meetings provided valuable information and insights that enhanced the committee’s understanding of the technologies and barriers involved. The committee thanks the following individuals who provided briefings:
Patrick Davis, U.S. Department of Energy,
Phillip Patterson, U.S. Department of Energy,
Jacob Ward, U.S. Department of Energy,
David Howell, U.S. Department of Energy,
Jay Braitsch, U.S. Department of Energy,
Diana Bauer, U.S. Department of Energy,
Sunita Satyapal, U.S. Department of Energy,
Fred Joseck, U.S. Department of Energy,
David Danielson, ARPA-E,
Austin Brown, National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
Andy Aden, National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
David Green, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Steve Plotkin, Argonne National Laboratory,
Bill Charmley, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Robert Fri, Consultant,
Mike Ramage, Consultant,
Robbie Diamond, Electrification Coalition,
Mark Finley, BP,
Alan Krupnick, Resources for the Future,
Virginia McConnell, Resources for the Future,
Linda Capuano, Marathon Oil Company,
Sascha Simon, Mercedes Benz,
Ben Knight, Honda,
Dan Sperling, University of California, Davis, and
Reiko Takemasa, Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
The committee owes special thanks to Michael Ramage (NAE) and James Katzer (NAE), who generously volunteered their time and expertise to assist in many complex and difficult issues. This report has benefited greatly from their contributions. The members of the committee and the staff deeply regret the death of Jim Katzer in November 2012.
The committee also appreciates the contributions of the following personel from FEV, Inc., who helped in reviewing the methodology and results of the vehicle analysis: Gary Rogers, Dean Tomazic, and Aaron Birckett.
This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Menahem Anderman, Advanced Automotive Batteries,
Paul N. Blumberg, NAE,1 Independent Consultant,
Andrew Brown, NAE, Delphi Corporation,
Lawrence D. Burns, NAE, University of Michigan,
Robert Epperly, Independent Consultant,
Albert R. George, Cornell University,
Chris T. Hendrickson, NAE, Carnegie Mellon University,
Jason D. Hill, University of Minnesota, St. Paul,
Maryann N. Keller, Maryann Keller & Associates, LLC,
Joan M. Ogden, University of California, Davis,
John M. Reilly, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Bernard I. Robertson, NAE, DaimlerChrysler Corporation (retired),
Gary W. Rogers, FEV, Inc., and
R.R. Stephenson, Independent Consultant.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Elisabeth M. Drake, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (retired), and Trevor O. Jones, NAE, ElectroSonics Medical. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
1National Academy of Engineering.
Select Acronyms and Abbreviations
Annual Energy Outlook
alternative fuel vehicle
barrels per day
battery electric vehicle
British thermal unit
Clean Air Act
Corporate Average Fuel Economy
carbon capture and storage
compressed natural gas
compressed natural gas vehicle
carbon dioxide equivalent
coal to liquid (fuel)
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Energy Information Administration
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
enhanced oil recovery
Energy Policy Act
Energy Tax Act
hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle
flex fuel vehicle
gallon of gasoline equivalent
Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation model
gas to liquid (fuel)
hybrid electric vehicle
internal combustion engine
internal combustion engine vehicle
Indexed Highway User Fee
indirect land-use change
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Low Carbon Fuel Standard
million metric ton(s) of CO2 equivalent
miles per gallon
miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
National Energy Modeling System
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
mono-nitrogen oxides, including nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
plug-in electric vehicle
plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
quadrillion British thermal units (of energy)
Renewable Fuel Standard
Renewable Fuel Standard, as amended by EISA
Renewable Identification Number
trillion(s) of standard cubic feet
vehicle miles traveled
NOTE: A more complete list of acronyms and abbreviations is given in Appendix E of the electronic version of this report, available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18264.