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Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report (2015)

Chapter: 1 Introduction and Background

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Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
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1

Introduction and Background

INTRODUCTION

In March 2014, the National Research Council (NRC) appointed the Committee on Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Phase 3 (called the committee in this report) to conduct an independent review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP) (see Appendix A for biographical information on committee members). The results of the committee’s review are presented in this report. This NRC Phase 3 review follows on two previous reviews, the first conducted in 2007 resulting in the NRC Phase 1 report, issued in 2008 (NRC, 2008), and the second review, conducted in 2010-2011, resulting in the NRC Phase 2 report issued in 2012 (NRC, 2012). The Partnership’s responses to the recommendations in the NRC Phase 2 report are contained in Appendix C of the present report. Given the extensive background presented in the NRC Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports and in other related reports, the committee refers to these other reports as appropriate.

The 21CTP is a cooperative research and development (R&D) partnership including four federal agencies—the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), more specifically the U.S. Department of the Army; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—and 15 industrial partners: Allison Transmission, ArvinMeritor, BAE Systems, Caterpillar, Cummins Inc., Daimler Trucks North America (which includes Freightliner and Detroit Diesel Corporation), Eaton Corporation, Honeywell International, Navistar, Mack Trucks, NovaBUS, Oshkosh Truck, PACCAR, and Volvo Trucks North America (see Figure 2-3 in Chapter 2 for the Partnership organization).1 The Partnership was formed in 2000 and announced on April 21, 2001, at a press event in Romulus, Michigan.2

The Partnership is not a program in the formal sense of an R&D program managed by a director with lines of authority to its partners and a specific budget item appropriated by Congress. Rather, the Partnership is a means of exchanging information and coordinating ongoing activities that are occurring at the various agencies and private-sector companies to contribute to national goals of reducing fuel usage and emissions while improving heavy vehicle safety. (Chapter 2 addresses the organization of the Partnership and how it operates.) The 21CTP vision is “that our nation’s trucks and buses will safely and cost-effectively move larger volumes of freight and greater numbers of passengers while emitting little or no pollution and dramatically reducing the dependency on foreign oil” (21CTP, 2013). The focus of the R&D is on medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), which range from Class 3 trucks greater than 10,000 lb to larger commercial trucks such as delivery vans, garbage trucks, and on up to tractor-trailer combinations ranging up to 80,000 lb or greater in some special cases (see Table 1-1 for different size categories; also NRC, 2010a, 2012).

The Partnership addresses the following “national imperatives”:

(a) Transportation in America supports the growth of our nation’s economy both nationally and globally. (b) Our nation’s transportation system supports the country’s goal of energy security. (c) Transportation in our country is clean, safe, secure, and sustainable. (d) America’s military has an agile, well-equipped, efficient force capable of rapid deployment and sustainment anywhere in the world. (e) Our nation’s transportation system is compatible with a dedicated concern for the environment (21CTP, 2013).

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1 In this report, Daimler or Daimler Trucks will be used interchangeably with Daimler Trucks North America; Detroit Diesel will be used interchangeably with Detroit Diesel Corporation, and Volvo will be used interchangeably with Volvo Trucks North America.

2 For further details of the history, see 21CTP (2006) and NRC (2000, 2008, 2012).

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
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TABLE 1-1 Comparing Classes of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Class Applications Gross Weight Range (lb) 2006 Fleet Registrations (millions) Typical Miles per Gallon Range 2007 Typical Fuel Consumed (gal/1,000 ton-mi) Annual Fleet Fuel Consumption (billion gal) Annual Fleet Miles Traveled 2006 (billion mi.) Share of Annual Miles (%) Share of Fuel Use (%)
2b Large Pick-Up, Utility Van, MultiPurpose, Mini-Bus, Step Van 8,501-10,000 6.2 10-15 38.5 5.5 93 29.5 11.6
3 Utility Van, MultiPurpose, Mini-Bus, Step Van 10,001-14,000 0.69 8-13 33.3 1.46 12 3.8 3.1
4 City Delivery, Parcel Delivery, Large Walk-in, Bucket, Landscaping 14,001-16,000 0.29 7-12 23.8 0.53 4 1.3 1.1
5 City Delivery, Parcel Delivery, Large Walk-in, Bucket 16,001-19,500 0.17 6-12 25.6 0.26 2 0.6 0.5
6 City Delivery, School Bus, Large Walk-in, Bucket 19,501-26,000 1.71 5-12 20.4 6.02 41 13.0 12.7
7 City Bus, Furniture, Refrigerated, Refuse, Fuel Tanker, Dump, Tow, Concrete, Fire Engine, Tractor-Trailer 26,001-33,000 0.18 4-8 18.2 1.93 9 2.9 4.1
8a Dump, Refuse, Concrete, Furniture, City Bus, Tow, Fire Engine (straight trucks) 33,001-80,000 0.43 2.5-6 8.7 3.51 12 3.8 7.4
8b Tractor-Trailer: Van, Refrigerated, Bulk Tanker, Flat Bed (combination trucks) 33,001-80,000 1.72 4-7.5 6.5 28.1 142 45.1 59.4

NOTE: The Transportation Energy Data Book (Davis et al., 2013) estimates that in 2011 light trucks (gross vehicle weight <10,000 lb, including Classes 1, 2a, and 2b) used 7.24 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of gasoline and 0.344 quads of diesel fuel; trucks of Classes 3-6 consumed 0.536 quads of gasoline and 0.727 quads of diesel; and Classes 7 and 8 combination trucks consumed 0.047 quads of gasoline and 4.468 quads of diesel.

SOURCE: Adapted from NRC (2010a, Table 2-1), with estimates based on data from 2006 and 2007. Note that total annual fleet miles amounts to about 315 billion miles and total fuel use 47.31 billion gallons.

This report builds on the NRC Phase 1 and 2 reviews and reports and also, as part of its charge, comments on changes and progress since the Phase 2 report was issued in 2012. The strategic approach of the Partnership includes the following elements as laid out in the 2013 21CTP roadmap and white papers, which evolved from the 2006 21CTP roadmap (21CTP, 2006, 2013):

  • Develop and implement an integrated vehicle systems R&D approach that validates and deploys advanced technology necessary for both commercial and military trucks and buses to meet the aforementioned national imperatives.
  • Conduct research for engines, powertrains, combustion, exhaust aftertreatment, fuels, and advanced materials to achieve both significantly higher efficiency and lower emissions.
  • Conduct research focused on advanced heavy-duty hybrid propulsion and auxiliary power systems that will reduce energy consumption and pollutant emissions.
  • Conduct research to reduce vehicle power demands (also referred to as parasitic losses) to achieve significantly reduced energy consumption.
  • Support research on the development of technologies to improve truck safety, resulting in the reduction of fatalities and injuries in crashes involving trucks.
Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
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  • Support research on the development and deployment of technologies that substantially reduce energy consumption and exhaust emissions during idling.
  • Conduct the validation, demonstration, and deployment of advanced truck and bus technologies, and improve their reliability to the point where they can be adopted in the commercial marketplace.
  • Research, validate, and deploy technologies and methods that save fuel through the more efficient operation of trucks and transportation systems, targeting an overall improved freight efficiency (DOE, 2013).

As is discussed in more detail in this report, the Partnership has been evolving and making some changes since the Phase 1 and 2 reviews. For example, since 2006 the roadmap and a series of white papers have been revised and updated.

NATIONAL CONCERNS

The federal government, including DOE, has addressed in varying degrees the economic, energy security, and environmental aspects of energy supply, distribution, and use for many decades, and the focus of efforts has changed from time to time. Supporting R&D for vehicle technologies that would reduce fuel consumption and emissions has been a cornerstone of federal R&D for decades and has complemented a number of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (NHTSA/EPA) regulations. Developing vehicle technologies to reduce fuel consumption helps to reduce demand for petroleum-derived gasoline and diesel fuel, which addresses concerns about energy security and U.S. dependence on petroleum imports, and addresses fuel affordability and price concerns by applying downward pressure on fuel demand. The United States has also implemented policies to replace petroleum-based fuels with fuels derived from domestic feedstocks, such as biofuels (NAS-NAE-NRC, 2009a,b; NRC, 2011). Concerns about air quality and the effects of pollutants on human health have led to a number of stringent regulations, significantly reducing exhaust emissions, such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulates, for both light-duty vehicles (LDVs—e.g., cars, vans, and light trucks) and MHDVs. These regulations have stimulated the development of technologies to meet these regulations. In addition, concerns about climate and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activity have increased interest in developing and deploying vehicle technologies to reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

Fuel Consumption

An extensive discussion of policy initiatives to reduce fuel consumption and emissions from vehicles can be found in previous NRC reports and will not be repeated here (NRC, 2008, 2012, 2014). LDVs have been regulated for decades with regard to both (1) emissions that contribute to air pollution and threaten health and (2) fuel economy from the standpoint of energy security. The Obama administration has been moving forward on regulatory measures to reduce GHG emissions as well as petroleum consumption and is focused on improving energy security concerns, with a goal of reducing oil imports by one third by 2025. Both increasing domestic production of petroleum and other fuels and improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles contribute to meeting this goal.3 The most recent ruling on fuel economy for LDVs was promulgated in a combined fuel economy and GHG emissions rule by NHTSA and EPA; the rule calls for a GHG CO2 level of 163 g/mi, which is equivalent to a 54.5 mile per gallon (mpg) corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard by 2025 (EPA/NHTSA, 2012).

Partially as a result of the promulgation of these LDV fuel economy regulations, the Energy Information Administration (EIA, 2014) forecasts in its reference case that energy consumption by LDVs in the United States will decline by an average of about 0.8 percent/year between 2012 and 2040, from about 8.41 million bbl/day (oil equivalent) to 6.38 million bbl/day, respectively. On the other hand, MHDVs, which in 2012 consumed about 25 percent of the petroleum used by on-road vehicles in the U.S. transportation sector, are expected to increase their fuel consumption by about 40 percent between 2012 and 2040, from about 2.8 million bbl/day to 3.91 million bbl/day. About 70 percent of the fuel used by MHDVs is used by Class 6 and Class 8 trucks, where diesel engines are the dominant technology (DOC, 2002; NRC, 2012). Table 1-1 provides estimates of the fuel consumed by various classes of trucks.4 U.S. refineries have traditionally been set up to maximize gasoline output. However, with diesel fuel demand projected to increase while gasoline demand decreases, U.S. refineries will need to change to be able to supply the diesel fuel needed as the demand for gasoline decreases. It is only recently that MHDVs have been regulated in the United States with regard to fuel consumption, with a Phase I rule promulgated in 2011 covering vehicles beginning in model year 2014 and extending through model year 2018. The CO2 standard in g/ton-mi for 2017 vocational vehicles is 6 to 9 percent below that for a model year 2010 vehicle and up to 23 percent below that for combination tractors and the engines installed in them.5 A second rule for MHDVs is currently under development,

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3 P. Davis, DOE, “Vehicle Technologies Program Overview,” Presentation to the Phase 3 committee on May 14, 2014.

4 Note that for the global economy, commercial transport (trucks, ships, planes, and trains) energy demand is projected to grow by 70 percent between 2010 and 2040; an important component of this will be attributable to trucks (ExxonMobil, 2014). Worldwide diesel fuel use is projected to increase from 18 million bbl/day in 2014 to 30 million bbl/day in 2040 (IEA, 2014). Also, see http://www.dieselforum.org/news/the-global-fuel-forecast-is-sunny-for-diesel, November 18, 2014. Accessed December 8, 2014.

5 Vocational vehicles cover a wide range of vehicles, including delivery trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, buses, cranes, bucket trucks, and others. They are typically sold as an incomplete chassis, with multiple

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
×

and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was announced in June 2015 that will be enacted in 2016 and presumably lead to further reductions in fuel consumption for such vehicles beyond model year 2018.6

U.S. petroleum production today is greater than it has been in more than 25 years. During September 2014, daily U.S. oil production exceeded 8.8 million barrels per day, the most since early 1986 (Shenk, 2014). The EIA stated on September 14, 2014, that it expected daily oil production to reach over 9.5 million barrels per day in 2015, the most since 1970 (EIA, 2014). The greatest reason for this increased production has been the significant amounts of oil generated from shale deposits using advanced extraction techniques developed during the last several decades. As a result of this increased production, it is expected that petroleum-based fuels will continue to be the major source of transportation fuels well into the 21st century. Alternative fuel sources will contribute some portion of the transportation fuel pool, but petroleum-based diesel fuel, perhaps with modified properties or blended with other components, will be the primary energy source for heavy-duty trucks (particularly Classes 7 and 8). This increased U.S. energy production, together with improvements in vehicle fuel consumption, has improved the U.S. energy security position with regard to dependence on imports of petroleum. Increased domestic natural gas production and the associated sharp decline in natural gas prices have also stimulated interest in the use of natural gas in certain applications in the transportation sector, another trend that can contribute to improving energy security. Nonetheless, EIA, as noted above, forecasts a significant increase in fuel use by MHDVs, mostly diesel, in the next few decades, with natural gas playing a relatively small role as a percentage of the total transportation fuel consumption (see Table 1-2). Increasing use of biomass-based fuels has also helped with domestic production, but it remains to be seen to what extent cellulosic-based biofuels will contribute in the future.7 EIA also forecasts that the U.S. net import share of petroleum and other liquids will decline from 2012 to 2040, but net expenditures (in constant 2012 dollars) for these will increase (Table 1-2). These trends, if they continue, will ameliorate U.S. dependence on imports but still represent significant expenditures and, given U.S. and global projections for increased fuel use by MHDVs, reducing the fuel consumption of MHDVs can help to further improve energy security.

Environmental Concerns

Added to the concern over imported petroleum and energy security is the concern about climate change. Nations around the world are beginning to exert more stringent control over human-made emissions, especially GHGs such as carbon dioxide (CO2). The European Union aims to reduce GHG emissions by 2020 to levels 20 percent lower than in 1990, and the European Commission announced in May 2014 that it will develop a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from trucks, buses, and coaches. Numerous discussions have taken place in the U.S. Congress about climate change, and many pieces of climate change legislation have been proposed, although at present (2014 as this is being written) and on into 2015, it is unlikely that any major legislation would be forthcoming, albeit the NHTSA/EPA Phase 2 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for MDHVs was announced in June 2015. In November 2014, according to the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change, the United States “intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26-28% below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make its best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%.”8 The administration’s regulations to decrease the fuel consumption of both LDVs and MHDVs are also aimed at reducing GHGs from the transportation sector. It is estimated that the transportation sector accounted for about 28 percent of the total anthropogenic CO2-eq emissions in the U.S. economy in 2012 (EPA, 2014).9 The total on-road emissions in 2012 from the use of gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels are estimated to have been about 1.48 billion metric tons of CO2-eq emissions. In 2012, MHDVs are estimated to account for about 0.41 billion metric tons of CO2-eq emissions. Of these emissions, gasoline accounts for about 10 percent, diesel approximately 89.5 percent, and natural gas and liquid petroleum gas approximately 0.5 percent (EPA, 2014).

As for future trends, EIA (2014) forecasts that between 2012 and 2040, CO2 emissions from the transportation

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“outfitters”—such as an engine manufacturer, a body manufacturer, and an equipment manufacturer.

6 See President Obama’s National Fuel Efficiency Policy at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-directs-administration-create-first-ever-national-efficiency-and-em. A Notice of Proposed Rule Making for MDHVs was issued on October 26, 2010. Final standards issued by EPA and DOT’s NHTSA on September 15, 2011, applied to model year 2014 (EPA/NHTSA, 2010, 2011). EPA/NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Phase 2 vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions, on June 19, 2015 (see http://www.nhtsa.gov/fueleconomy).

7 Since the 1970s, Congress has supported legislation that requires increasing the production of fuels from renewable, bio-based sources and other alternative fuels as part of efforts to reduce petroleum-based fuel consumption. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (Public Law 110-140) includes a subtitle that amended the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005, Public Law 109-58) and substantially increased the volumes of renewable fuels to be phased in to the fuel supply. The mandated volumes of renewable fuels to be used begin with 9 billion gallons in 2008 and reach 36 billion gallons in 2022. These fuels are anticipated to include corn-based ethanol, cellulosic-based ethanol, and biodiesel made from vegetable oils (e.g., from soybeans), animal fats, and cellulose. Much R&D is occurring to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize the advanced biofuels that would be made from cellulose, but costs and technology performance are still uncertain (NAS-NAE-NRC, 2009b; NRC, 2011).

8 See http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/11/us-chinajoint-announcement-climate-change. Accessed December 8, 2014.

9 EPA considers emissions of the GHGs CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (NO2) and converts them to CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq), accounting for their different warming potentials in the atmosphere.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
×

TABLE 1-2 Historical and Projected U.S. Energy Use and CO2 Emissions by the Transportation

Item Units 2012 2040
Natural gas, use in transportation quad
million bbl oil equivalent
0.04
6.9
0.86
148.2
Total transportation energy use quad
million bbl oil equivalent
26.72
4,606
25.5
4,396
Net import share of petroleum and other liquids percenta
billions, constant 2012$
40.3
314
32
385
CO2 emissions

Transportation sector

Commercial light trucksb

Buses

Freight trucks

million metric ton
million metric ton
million metric ton
million metric ton
1,815
35.6
16.1
358
1,700
35.6
15.8
503

a See EIA (2014), table on petroleum and other liquid supply disposition.

b Gross vehicle weight of 8,500 to 10,000 lb.

SOURCE: EIA, 2014.

sector as a whole will decline, the result of decreased emissions from LDVs. Emissions from commercial light trucks (8,500 to 10,000 lb) remain about the same, buses decline somewhat, and freight trucks increase substantially because an increased quantity of freight will need to be moved as a consequence of the growing economy (see Table 1-2).

Emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from heavy-duty vehicles have been significantly reduced by PM standards that went into effect in 2007 and NOx standards that were phased in between 2007 and 2010.10 In order to meet lower NOx requirements, the tradeoffs in engine and emissions control designs led to some decline in the brake thermal efficiency of diesel engines as NOx standards phased in during the first decade of the 21st century. With NOx requirements having been stabilized by 2010, engine manufacturers are now more focused on thermal efficiency improvements (NRC, 2012). It is uncertain when more stringent NOx emission standards will be promulgated (e.g., by California) in the coming years and, if they are, how they may affect fuel consumption improvements.

Thus, for economic and environmental reasons and for energy security, the transportation sector is a key sector for consideration and a focus for policy, and MHDVs are a significant and increasingly important component. The 21CTP can play an important role is this regard. The public sector—through advanced R&D, and especially in partnering with the private sector, where the ultimate decisions will be made to deploy and commercialize new technology—is an important complement to regulatory and market-pull requirements. In this vein, the Partnership’s fostering of technology that can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by MHDVs has gained in importance in recent years.

AREAS OF INTEREST AND LEVELS OF OVERALL FUNDING

As a means of providing focus and a set of goals and objectives for itself as a whole, the Partnership developed a roadmap and supporting technical white papers, which have evolved since 2006 (21CTP, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013). The technical areas covered by the white papers include these:

  1. Engine systems;
  2. Advanced heavy-duty hybrid propulsion systems;
  3. Vehicle power demands (sometimes called parasitic losses, including, for example, losses due to aerodynamics, tire rolling resistance, and the like);
  4. Idle reduction;
  5. Vehicle safety;
  6. Operational efficiency, or efficient operations; and
  7. Additional infrastructure considerations, which were not included in previous versions of the roadmap.

These areas and the associated goals are discussed in further detail in the remaining chapters of this report. In addition, four major cost-shared contracts were awarded to four industry teams to carry out R&D and demonstrate for a complete long-haul tractor-trailer a freight efficiency improvement of 50 percent in ton-miles per gallon of fuel. These contracts were awarded under the SuperTruck program, which is a part of the 21CTP and which is addressed in Chapter 8.

DOE provides the central leadership for the 21CTP through its Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), which is within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable

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10 A summary review of these emissions standards and changes can be found in the NRC Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports (NRC, 2008, 2012), as well as in references in this chapter (Ehlmann and Wolff, 2005; Johnson, 1988).

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
×

Energy (EERE). The VTO has the primary role in DOE for pursuing the development of advanced vehicle technologies both for LDVs and MHDVs. The LDV activities are carried out in the U.S.DRIVE (Driving, Research, and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability) partnership; the MHDV activities are carried out in the 21CTP. The U.S.DRIVE programs include work on combustion and emissions control, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, batteries, lightweight materials, power electronics, and vehicle systems. In terms of the baseline DOE budget, the LDV program activities during the past 10-15 years have been much larger than efforts directed toward MHDVs. However, there is some overlap between work that is done for LDVs and MHDVs—for example, in areas such as the understanding and modeling of advances in combustion, advances in lightweight materials, or advances in electrochemistry and battery technologies—and such overlapping areas are all managed under the VTO to support both LDV and MHDV technologies, as appropriate. Consequently, advances made in technical areas that are characterized and budgeted as part of the U.S.DRIVE could benefit MHDVs. DOE also contracts work out to the private sector and involves the 21CTP industry partners in cost-shared contracts, and it supports R&D in the national laboratories and universities. It also plays an important role by hosting its Annual Merit Review (AMR) at which all VTO projects are peer reviewed and evaluated. It has also traditionally hosted annually the Directions in Energy Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) conference, which brings together professionals in the engine community to share the latest advances in combustion engine R&D; however, the last DEER conference was held in 2012 (see Chapter 2 for further discussion).

The EPA has an interest in reducing emissions and works with the private sector and promotes and provides information on various technologies for the reduction of fuel consumption and of GHG emissions through its SmartWay program. DOD also is very interested in improving the fuel efficiency and reducing the fuel consumption of its noncombat vehicles; for combat vehicles it is interested in increased power density and low heat rejection. DOT is focused on safety issues, including the use of advanced technology and regulations that can improve highway safety, as well as on the overall system and infrastructure for moving freight efficiently and economically and on not compromising safety in order to reduce fuel consumption.

Since 21CTP is a partnership and not a formal program with a specific budget line item, it has been difficult to quantify the level of effort for the different areas of interest. While levels of funding are available for DOE’s VTO, which is the lead organization for 21CTP, a distinction has to be made, as noted above, between efforts directed toward LDVs as opposed to MHDVs. In the Phase 1 and 2 reviews, DOE estimated what portion of VTO’s budget was applicable to the 21CTP. Congress in its appropriations breaks its budget down not by LDVs and heavy-duty vehicles but by technical areas. Also of note is that the Congress now requires DOE to fund projects up front and not yearly, as was the practice in previous years; thus, for multiyear projects, DOE would have to fund the project completely at the beginning. The other agencies (DOD, DOT, EPA) associate their own existing programs or projects that are relevant to the goals of the 21CTP under the 21CTP umbrella, but budgets are not clearly associated with 21CTP, and during previous reviews there has been no specific budget information from these other agencies. The efforts of the private sector associated with 21CTP are also not available except for specific projects that individual companies may be jointly funding with a government agency—for example, DOE. The other factor that makes budgets and projects involved in the 21CTP unclear is that the different agencies receive their budget appropriations from different committees in Congress and are managed by the individual agency program managers.

The DOE estimated the part of the DOE VTO budget that could be attributed to 21CTP activities to be about $87 million in 2002. That amount then declined to about $46 million in 2010 as efforts on LDVs became a higher priority (NRC, 2012); note that the total VTO budgets in FY 2010 and FY 2013 were about $304 and $303 million, respectively. These past estimates for heavy-vehicle work did not appear to include work on energy storage (e.g., batteries), which could be associated with hybrid and electric drive technologies for MHDVs. At the time of this Phase 3 review, the budget request, $359 million, for the FY 2015 appropriations indicated a significant increase from 2013-2014 for VTO, but Congress appropriated only $280 million. What proportion of VTO’s FY 2015 appropriations will be directed toward MHDVs remains uncertain. The other three agencies have their own, separate projects and budgets that can be associated with helping the Partnership to meet its goals.

Nevertheless, as recommended during the Phase 2 review, the 21CTP leadership, at the urging of the Phase 3 committee, put together a list of projects and associated funding that 21CTP estimates contribute to the 21CTP effort (see Appendix D). As far as the committee can tell, the projects are not all R&D projects, with some addressing demonstration, deployment, field testing, facilities, and the like. These are not strictly what the committee considered to be the focus of the technical areas in the statement of task, namely, R&D activities in areas directly relating to heavy-duty trucks. These estimates by the 21CTP leadership resulted in Figure 1-1, which depicts the estimated funding contributed by the four agencies. DOE estimated that about $116 million of FY 2014 funds for the four agencies are contributing to 21CTP goals (see Figure 1-1). These funding levels do not include funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, better known as “the stimulus”) or efforts by the private sector.

The ARRA injected a significant amount of funding into activities, including R&D, on vehicles. Although this funding was a one-shot infusion and is not included as part of

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
×

images

FIGURE 1-1 Summary of estimated federal funding contributing to 21CTP goals. Provided to the committee by the 21st Century Truck Partnership in December of 2014. ACE, advanced combustion engines; EDT, electric drive technologies; ES, energy storage; FHWA, Federal Highway Administration; FMCSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; VSST, vehicle systems simulation and testing.

the congressional appropriations for the agencies, it allowed the initiation of a number of LDV and MHDV activities that helped to promote technologies for reducing fuel consumption. For example, approximately $1.5 billion was provided to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of the next generation of U.S. batteries, $500 million to manufacture electric-drive components, and $400 million for transportation electrification. Such efforts, for example, can help to promote the more rapid development of battery technologies and help to stimulate the demonstration and deployment of hybrid vehicles. The 21CTP estimates that ARRA funding11 contributed about $206 million to efforts supporting the 21CTP, including the SuperTruck projects.

ARRA funding also allowed a solicitation to be announced and funded called Systems Level Technology Development, Integration, and Demonstration for Efficient Class 8 Trucks (SuperTruck) and Advanced Technology Powertrains for Light-Duty Vehicles (ATP-LD). The heavy-vehicle part of this solicitation has a goal “to develop and demonstrate a 50-percent improvement in overall freight efficiency on a heavy-duty Class 8 tractor-trailer measured in ton-miles per gallon.”12 Four SuperTruck industry teams have been funded, generally about 5-year contracts, with ARRA funding of about $86 million contributing to two of the teams. The total funding for the four SuperTruck vehicle and engine projects is estimated at about $284 million, which includes ARRA funding, DOE funding, and private sector funding (see Chapter 8).

In summary, it is difficult to have a complete picture of the funding for the Partnership since there is not a budget item appropriated by Congress. The 21CTP leadership has estimated the level of effort by making judgments about which projects are associated with meeting 21CTP goals, but this exercise has not been complete for all four agencies (see Figure 1-1). The DOE estimated that the funding for its projects associated with 21CTP goals was about $87 million in FY 2002 but steadily declined to about $45 million in FY 2010 (NRC, 2008, 2012). In recent years, and with inclusion of some of the other agency projects, the most recent estimate for DOE, DOT, and EPA is about $116 million per year (Figure 1-1). The ARRA funding injected an additional $86 million of federal funding spread over 5 years or so for the SuperTruck projects, whereas the private sector contributed about $138 million. Since some of the SuperTruck projects were addressing vehicle power demands and engine idle reduction, funding for individual projects in those areas was reduced.

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11 P. Davis, DOE, “Vehicle Technologies Program Overview,” Presentation to the Phase 2 committee on September 8, 2010.

12 See http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=47867.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
×

ORIGIN AND SCOPE OF THIS STUDY

In response to a request from the director of the DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technologies, the NRC appointed the committee to fulfill the following statement of task:

  1. Review the high-level technical goals, targets, and timetables for R&D efforts, which address such areas as heavy vehicle systems; hybrid electric propulsion; advanced internal combustion engines (ICEs); and materials technologies.
  2. Review and evaluate progress and program directions since the inception of the Partnership towards meeting the Partnership’s technical goals, and examine on-going research activities and their relevance to meeting the goals of the Partnership.
  3. Examine and comment on the overall balance and adequacy of the 21st Century Partnership’s research effort, and the rate of progress, in light of the technical objectives and schedules for each of the major technology areas.
  4. Examine and comment, as necessary, on the appropriate role for federal involvement in the various technical areas under development.
  5. Examine and comment on the Partnership’s strategy for accomplishing its goals, which might include such issues as (a) program management and organization; (b) the process for setting milestones, research directions, and making Go/No Go decisions; (c) collaborative activities within DOE, other government agencies, the private sector, universities, and others; and (d) other topics that the committee finds important to comment on related to the success of the program to meet its technical goals.
  6. Examine and comment on the response of the Partnership to the recommendations made in previous NRC reviews and reports of the 21st Century Truck Partnership.
  7. Write a report documenting its Phase 3 review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership with conclusions and recommendations.

The statement of task contains a number of standard elements that the NRC has used to review a number of DOE R&D programs since it is general enough to allow a committee to make an assessment either narrowly, broadly, or both, as appropriate. As noted in the Phase 2 report, in an ideal world, every technical area would have well-defined projects, budgets, milestones, and targets against which to assess progress. But in reality, given the multiagency and multi-industry nature of the 21CTP, the identification of such well-defined projects that can fall under the 21CTP umbrella is not uniform across the various areas and agencies (see Chapter 2). The Partnership has coalesced around six technical areas in its roadmap and has white papers and goals for each of those areas. In some instances there are precise targets against which to measure progress; in others there are not, and committee judgment has been used. The assessments of the committee are contained in the respective technical chapters, which correspond to the areas addressed by the white papers. In some cases, such as in hybrid propulsion, the review has been made complicated because the goals and targets have been undergoing revision. The SuperTruck projects are in various stages of completion, and the committee’s comments on this important component of the 21CTP are in Chapter 8 for the results that are available. The situation is not dissimilar to that during the Phase 1 and 2 reviews, whose recommendations helped to focus some of the 21CTP efforts; the committee anticipates that the current report’s recommendations also will help the Partnership with its focus over the next few years.

ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

The role of the federal government in R&D varies depending on the administration and the Congress and the issues that they deem important for the nation to address.13

An extensive economics literature on the subject points to the importance of R&D in promoting technical innovation, especially for the kinds of research where the private sector finds it difficult to capture the return on its investment; this is especially true for basic research, the results of which can be broadly used. Such innovation, if successful, can foster economic growth and productivity and lead to improvements in the standard of living (Bernanke, 2011). Furthermore, in the energy area, the government generally has to confront issues of national security, environmental quality, or energy affordability. Many of these issues are addressed through policy initiatives or regulations, which place a burden on private firms to achieve. Thus there is a role for the federal government in supporting R&D not only to help the private sector achieve these policy goals but also to help U.S. firms remain competitive in the face of international competition.

The committee believes that the federal government plays an important role in the development of technologies that can help to address government policies and regulations aimed at reducing emissions and fuel consumption from MHDVs. There are similar reasons for the government’s playing a role in R&D for light-duty vehicles as well. The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, the U.S.DRIVE partnership, and the 21CTP are examples of public-private efforts to support R&D and to develop advanced technologies for vehicles (NRC, 2001, 2010a,b, 2013). These partnerships generally entail a variety of efforts (fundamental research, development, demonstration, and—in some cases—deployment).

________________

13 This section is repeated from the Phase 2 report since an important component of the Phase 3 committee’s statement of task is the appropriate role of the federal government in the various technical areas and this view underlies a number of the committee’s recommendations (NRC, 2012).

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
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The federal government can support fundamental research through the national laboratories and universities, and industry can focus on development. The importance of having government–industry collaboration is that the private sector can help to transform improvements from research into cost-effective and marketable products. Generally, the contracting that is engaged in with the private sector is cost-shared, and those research contracts more closely associated with fundamental or basic research will have a majority of federal funding, whereas contracts with a strong development or product component will have significant support from the private sector. According to Section 988 of the EPAct of 2005, DOE-wide cost sharing requirements are 20 percent cost share for R&D, with an exemption for basic or fundamental R&D, and a 50 percent cost share for demonstration and commercial application activities (Public Law 109-58; also see Chapter 2). In its recommendations in each of the technical areas, the committee has considered which activities are most appropriate for the 21CTP to support. Implicit in all the recommendations that relate to the support of additional research is the committee’s belief that the federal government has a role to play in the R&D.

STUDY PROCESS AND ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT

The committee held meetings to collect information through presentations on 21CTP activities by representatives of the four federal agencies involved in the Partnership as well as individuals outside the program (see Appendix B for a list of the presenters and their topics). The committee reviewed the 21CTP roadmap and white papers, including a list of related projects and funding; submitted questions to the 21CTP leadership and received informative answers; and considered DOE’s annual reports issued in the various technical areas. Subgroups of the committee also made site visits to the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana; Daimler Corporate Facilities in Portland, Oregon; Daimler subsidiary Detroit Diesel in Detroit, Michigan; and Volvo in Greensboro, North Carolina for the SuperTruck projects. Committee subgroups also visited the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to understand the relationship between the Army and 21CTP R&D activities following on the DOE and DOD Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance (AVPTA) partnership, entered into on July 18, 2011.14 The committee also reviewed papers on the various DOE projects under 21CTP at the 2013 and 2014 DOE Annual Merit Review; in fact, some committee members attended and served as reviewers of the Annual Merit Review.15 The committee was not in a position to review every project that the 21CTP said was associated with the Partnership, but based on the 21CTP presentations on various projects and on the committee’s own review of projects presented at the Annual Merit Review, it believes it received sufficient information to make judgements on the activities associated with the various technical areas. The committee’s findings and recommendations are based on the information gathered during the study and on the expertise and knowledge of committee members.

Chapter 2 addresses the overall management strategy and priority setting of the Partnership. Chapter 3 addresses work on engines and related activities on aftertreatment, fuels, and propulsion materials. Chapter 4 focuses on hybrid vehicles. Chapter 5 addresses vehicle power demands, including such areas as aerodynamics, tire rolling resistance, friction losses in the drivetrain, auxiliary loads, and weight reduction. Chapter 6 addresses idle reduction technologies for reducing fuel consumption and emissions during truck idle time. Chapter 7 addresses safety, which comes mostly under DOT. Chapter 8 addresses the four SuperTruck projects and Chapter 9 the area of efficient operations.

Appendix A presents biographical sketches of the committee members. Appendix B lists all of the public presentations at the committee’s four meetings. Appendix C contains the list of findings and recommendations from the NRC Phase 2 report as well as the 21CTP responses to them. Appendix D is an inventory of 21CTP projects. Appendix E lists abbreviations and acronyms used in the report.

REFERENCES

21CTP. 2006. 21st Century Truck Partnership Roadmap and Technical White Papers. 21CTP-003. December. Washington, D.C.: Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies.

21CTP. 2010. Energy.gov. Office of Vehicle Technologies, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/about/partnerships/21centurytruck/21ct_goals.html. Accessed October 4, 2010.

21CTP. 2011. Updated 21st Century Truck Partnership Technical White Papers. Working draft, February 25. Washington, D.C.: Office of Vehicle Technologies.

21CTP. 2013. 21CTP Roadmap and Technical White Papers (February). Washington, D.C.: Office of Vehicle Technologies. http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/roadmap-and-technical-white-papers-21stcentury-truck-partnership. Accessed October 10, 2014.

Bernanke, B.S. 2011. Promoting research and development: The government’s role. Issues in Science and Technology, a publication of the National Academies and the University of Texas-Dallas. Summer. http://www.issues.org/27.4/.

Davis, S.C., S.W. Diegel, and R. G. Boundy. 2013. Transportation Energy Data Book, Edition 32. Center for Transportation Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tenn. http://cta.ornl.gov/data.

DOC (U.S. Department of Commerce). 2002. 2002 Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey; Class 2B. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tenn. March.

Ehlmann, J., and G. Wolff. 2005. Automobile Emissions–The Road Toward Zero. January. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Air and Waste Management Association.

EIA (Energy Information Administration). 2014. AEO 2014 [Annual Energy Outlook]. http://www.eia.doe.gov/forecasts/aeo/. Accessed September 30, 2014.

________________

14 See, for example, www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA554222. Accessed March 6, 2015.

15 The DOE Annual Merit Review papers can be accessed at http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/vehicle-technologies-office-annual-merit-review-presentations.

Suggested Citation:"1 Introduction and Background." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership: Third Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/21784.
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EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 2014. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2012. EPA 430-R-14-003. April 15. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html#fullreport. Accessed September 30, 2014.

EPA/NHTSA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). 2010. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0162 and NHTSA-2010-0079, October 25. http://www.regulations.gov.

EPA/NHTSA. 2011. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles, Final Rules, September 25. http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy.

EPA/NHTSA. 2012. Final Rulemaking for 2017-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards. EPA-420-R-12-901. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regs-light-duty.htm.

ExxonMobil. 2014. The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/energy/energy-outlook/charts. Accessed October 9, 2014.

IEA (International Energy Outlook). 2014. World Energy Outlook 2014. http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/.

Johnson, J. 1988. Automotive Emissions. In: Air Pollution, the Automobile, and Public Health. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NAS-NAE-NRC (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, National Research Council). 2009a. America’s Energy Future: Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, pp. 39-75.

NAS-NAE-NRC. 2009b. Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2000. Review of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Heavy Vehicle Technologies Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2001. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2008. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2010a. Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2010b. Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, Third Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2011. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2012. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Second Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2013. Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership, Fourth Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2014. Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two: First Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Shenk, M. 2014. U.S. Oil Output Surges to Highest Since 1986 on Shale. Bloomberg, September 17. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2014-09-17/u-s-oil-output-surges-to-highest-since-1986-on-shale.html.

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The 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP) works to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, increase heavy-duty vehicle safety, and support research, development, and demonstration to initiate commercially viable products and systems. This report is the third in a series of three by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that have reviewed the research and development initiatives carried out by the 21CTP. Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, Third Report builds on the Phase 1 and 2 reviews and reports, and also comments on changes and progress since the Phase 2 report was issued in 2012.

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