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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report 1 Introduction This is the third report of the National Research Council's (NRC's) Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV); the first and second reports were issued in 1994 and 1996 (NRC, 1994; 1996). The committee was established in July 1994 to conduct independent annual reviews of the PNGV's research program, advise the government and industry participants on the program's progress, and identify significant barriers to success. The PNGV declaration of intent includes a requirement for an independent peer review ''to comment on the technologies selected for research and progress made." To this end, this review was undertaken by the NRC at the written request of the under secretary for Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), acting on behalf of the PNGV. The PNGV program is a cooperative research and development (R&D) program between the federal government and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), whose members are Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.1 The PNGV was initiated on September 29, 1993, by President Clinton with the purpose of substantially improving the fuel efficiency of today's automobiles and enhancing the U.S. domestic automobile industry's productivity and competitiveness. The aims of the PNGV program are to improve automobiles over the next decade and to develop technologies for a new generation of vehicles that can achieve fuel economies up to three times (80 miles per equivalent gallon of gasoline) those of today's comparable 1 The existence of USCAR, which predated the formation of PNGV, makes sense from the nation's point of view to support intercompany precompetitive cooperation in the face of intracompany international competition.
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report vehicles. At the same time, these vehicles should maintain performance, size, utility, and cost of ownership and operation and should meet or exceed federal safety and emissions requirements (The White House, 1993). The PNGV goals and the considerations underlying them are articulated in the partnership's program plan, as follows (PNGV, 1995): Goal 1. Significantly improve national competiticeness in manufacturing for future generations of vehicles. Improve the productivity of the U.S. manufacturing base by significantly upgrading U.S. manufacturing technology, including the adoption of agile and flexible manufacturing and reduction of costs and lead times, while reducing the environmental impact and/or improving quality. Goal 2. Implement commercially viable innovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles. Pursue technology advances that can lead to improvements in fuel efficiency and reductions in the emissions of standard vehicle designs, while pursuing advances to maintain safety performance. Research will focus on technologies that reduce the demand for energy from the engine and drivetrain. Throughout the research program, the industry has pledged to apply those commercially viable technologies resulting from this research that would be expected to significantly increase vehicle fuel efficiency and improve emissions. Goal 3. Develop vehicles to achieve up to three times the fuel efficiency of comparable 1994 family sedans. Increase vehicle fuel efficiency to up to three times that of the average 1994 Concorde/Taurus/Lumina automobiles with equivalent cost of ownership adjusted for economics. Achieving significant improvements in automotive fuel economy, while maintaining consumer safety and emissions standards, could provide important benefits to the nation. As noted in a Congressional Research Service report for Congress, the number of workers employed directly and indirectly by the automotive industry in the United States is substantial, with motor vehicle manufacturers and suppliers representing an important component of the U.S. gross domestic product (Sissine, 1996). Hence, technology change can influence the kinds of cars that are driven as well as the health of the U.S. economy. The Congressional Research Service report further notes that in 1994, automobiles accounted for as much as 50 percent of atmospheric ozone in urban areas, 15 percent of U.S. emissions of the "greenhouse gas," carbon dioxide, and 37 percent of U.S. crude oil consumption, at a time when U.S. crude oil imports are greater than 50 percent of total U.S. consumption and represent a third of the U.S. trade deficit. Higher gasoline prices and federal fuel economy regulations had been contributing causes to significant increases in the fuel economy levels of new cars, as well as the entire automotive fleet on the road during the late 1970s and 1980s; however, trends in the average fuel economy of all on-road (new and old)
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report passenger vehicles showed a decline in the early 1990s from a peak in 1991 (Sissine, 1996). These trends are strongly influenced by relatively low U.S. gasoline prices, which do not create incentives for automobile purchasers to value fuel economy to any great extent in their purchase decisions. The lack of market incentives for car buyers to purchase vehicles with high fuel economy makes it difficult to realize the public benefits from improvements in fuel economy, such as health benefits from reduced urban ozone, "insurance" against sudden crude oil price shocks, lower military costs of maintaining energy security, potential savings from lower crude oil prices, improved balance of payments, and reductions in greenhouse gases from the transportation sector (Sissine, 1996; OTA, 1995). The PNGV strategy of developing an automobile with a fuel economy of up to 80 mpg, while maintaining performance, size, utility, and cost and meeting or exceeding safety and emissions standards, circumvents the lack of economic incentives for buying automobiles with high fuel economy. If the PNGV strategy is successful, the automotive buyer will purchase a vehicle with all the desirable consumer attributes, and, as part of the technical design, with greatly enhanced fuel economy. The development of such a vehicle, as noted by the committee in its previous reports, is extremely challenging. An ambitious goal stimulates rapid development of required technology and, even if a Goal 3 vehicle does not achieve the triple-level fuel economy, it may still reach a level far above current levels. The projected increases in vehicle usage in nonindustrial and newly industrializing nations is expected to place a severe burden on world petroleum reserves and substantially increase airborne emissions. For example, Asia, excluding Japan, has 55 percent of the world's population and only 8 percent of the world's highway vehicles in use (AAMA, 1996). It is expected that the use of vehicles and the consumption of petroleum will increase dramatically in this region. This anticipated increase in vehicles provides an unusually large market opportunity for cost-effective, fuel-efficient products. The philosophic objectives of the PNGV program are aligned with meeting these two product needs to the benefit of the American automobile industry. The PNGV concept is to bring together the extensive R&D resources of the federal establishment, including the 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 be used primarily 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). Central to the organization and efforts of the PNGV are several technical teams responsible for R&D on the candidate subsystems, such as fuel cells, gas turbines, compression ignition direct injection engines (CIDI), and others. A manufacturing team, materials and structure team, and systems analysis team are also part of the PNGV organization (NRC, 1996). Technical oversight and
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report coordination are provided by the vehicle engineering team. The PNGV technical teams need direction on vehicle system requirements. This direction should be provided by the vehicle engineering team and supported by systems analysis. According to the schedule for Goal 3 described in the PNGV Program Plan, the PNGV expects to assess system configurations for alternative vehicles and narrow its technology choices by the end of 1997, with the intent of defining, developing, and constructing concept vehicles by 2000 and producing pre-production prototypes by 2004 (PNGV, 1995). (This technology selection process is usually referred to as the technology "downselect" process.) Each USCAR partner—Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors—will develop concept vehicles separately, drawing from the spectrum of technologies developed under the PNGV. It has also been decided that the PNGV will not design and build a concept car. Although the 1997 technology selection process will focus on choosing the technologies most likely to result in concept and production prototype vehicles that meet the Goal 3 requirements, other longer-range technologies will continue to evolve. As they evolve, they may be incorporated into the concept vehicles, as appropriate. The technology areas being addressed by the PNGV include advanced lightweight materials and structures; energy efficient conversion systems (including advanced internal combustion engines, gas turbines, Stirling engines, and fuel cells); hybrid electric propulsion systems; energy-storage devices (including high-power batteries, flywheels, and ultracapacitors); more-efficient electrical systems; and systems that efficiently recover and utilize exhaust energy and braking energy. For the third PNGV peer review, several committee members from the second review were rotated off the committee, and additional members were added to provide the expertise necessary for an in-depth review and analysis of the technology developments in the program, notably in the areas of energy conversion and energy storage technologies. (See Appendix A for biographical information on committee members.) Given the critical nature of developing advanced energy conversion devices (CIDI engines, gas turbine engines, Stirling engines, and fuel cells) and energy storage devices (batteries, flywheels, or ultracapacitors) to meet the high fuel economy target set by Goal 3, the committee undertook to examine the development program for these technologies in greater detail than in the previous review. The committee also reviewed the PNGV efforts and progress in power electronics and systems analysis and continued to review progress on goals 1 and 2. The committee was charged with: Critically evaluating the research progress and the state of development of energy converters (CIDI engines, fuel cells, and gas turbines) and energy storage (batteries, flywheels, and ultracapacitors) under consideration by the PNGV. The evaluation focused on PNGV efforts to overcome technical barriers identified in the committee's second report, progress the PNGV has made to maintain its current research schedule and milestones,
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report and the efficacy of the future program to achieve the specified PNGV goals of cost, performance, and schedule. The committee was also charged with addressing and commenting on the following areas based on presentations by the PNGV to the committee: the overall adequacy and balance of the PNGV technical program the process by which the PNGV will make choices and reallocate resources in the downselect process now scheduled for the end of 1997 the means by which the PNGV might draw upon foreign automotive technology the effort the government has initiated to anticipate infrastructure problems or issues that might arise upon introduction of the PNGV advanced vehicle The committee was not charged with the review of materials developments due to government funding limitations; however, this area is extremely important to the ultimate success of achieving Goal 3 objectives. Based on its review, the committee prepared this third peer review report containing its conclusions and recommendations. In addition to two extensive committee meetings, subgroups of the committee received detailed presentations on the various technologies under consideration (Appendix B contains a list of meetings, presentations, and other data-gathering activities by the committee.)2 Some of the material was presented to the committee as USCAR proprietary information under an agreement signed by the National Academy of Sciences, the USCAR, and the U.S. government (represented by the DOC). As noted in the second report (NCR, 1996), the committee started its work with the explicit understanding that the vision, goals, and target dates for the PNGV had been articulated by the president and that the appropriate R&D programs had been launched. On the premise that the PNGV will be seriously pursued by its partners, the committee sees its charge as one of providing independent advice to help the PNGV achieve its goals. Therefore, the committee has sought to identify strengths and actions that could enhance the program's chance for success. The committee has studiously avoided making judgments on the value of the program to the nation at this time and has accepted the goals as given, noting that unlike Goal 3, goals 1 and 2 are open-ended and do not have quantitative targets and milestones. The committee's objective continues to be to review the R&D program as presently configured and assess the PNGV program's progress and potential for 2 The committee formed the following subgroups: (1) Nonelectrochemical Storage Devices, (2) Electrical Systems and Systems Analysis, (3) Batteries and Ultracapacitors, (4) Fuel Cells, (5) Compression Ignition Direct Injection Engines, (5) Gas Turbine Engines, and (6) Stirling Engines. See committee list for members of subgroups.
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report achieving its goals. During this third review, the presentations sought by the committee have been aimed at (1) a more detailed understanding of PNGV progress, efforts, and technical barriers and plans for future development of energy converter and storage technologies; (2) key research challenges and priorities; (3) alignment of the program architecture with the goals, schedule, and milestones; (4) metrics for measuring progress; (5) resources deployed in fiscal year 1996 and planned for subsequent years; and (6) the effectiveness of the technical leadership within the PNGV. REFERENCES AAMA (American Automobile Manufacturers Association). 1996. Motor Vehicle Facts and Figures. Washington, D.C.: AAMA. NRC (National Research Council). 1994. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and Transportation Research Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. NRC. 1996. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, Second Report. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and Transportation Research Board. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. OTA (Office of Technology Assessment). 1995. Advanced Automotive Technology: Visions of a Super-Efficient Family Car. OTA-ETI-638. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles). 1995. Program Plan (draft). Washington, D.C.: PNGV. Sissine, F. 1996. The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). Report No. 96-191 SPR. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. The White House. 1993. Historic Partnership Forged with Auto Makers Aims for 3-Fold Increase in Fuel Efficiency In as Soon as Ten Years. Washington, D.C.: The White House.
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