7
PNGV Response to the Phase 2 Report

After the previous reviews by the NRC Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the PNGV, the committee made a number of recommendations (see Appendix C). The committee's first report, issued in the fall of 1994, was a broad overview in coverage and perspective (NRC, 1994). The committee offered a number of additional recommendations for the PNGV's consideration in its second report, issued in March 1996, following the phase 2 review of the PNGV research program (NRC, 1996). Some of the recommendations in the first report were reiterated in the committee's second report. The committee considered the broad priorities and underlying concepts of the program goals to be reasonable and credible but noted that for the program goals to be met or closely approached, well-managed, adequate resources had to be devoted to the program in a timely manner.

In addition to specific technology evaluations and recommendations, the committee offered the following six major recommendations in the previous reports:

  • Make program management and technical leadership of both government and industry activities more effective.

  • Initiate and accelerate a comprehensive systems analysis program.

  • Obtain and re-allocate federal and industry funding to activities consistent with promising technological potential within the time horizon and needs of the program.

  • Conduct comprehensive assessments and benchmark foreign technology developments relevant to the PNGV.

  • Continue to address infrastructure issues as an integral part of the program.



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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report 7 PNGV Response to the Phase 2 Report After the previous reviews by the NRC Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the PNGV, the committee made a number of recommendations (see Appendix C). The committee's first report, issued in the fall of 1994, was a broad overview in coverage and perspective (NRC, 1994). The committee offered a number of additional recommendations for the PNGV's consideration in its second report, issued in March 1996, following the phase 2 review of the PNGV research program (NRC, 1996). Some of the recommendations in the first report were reiterated in the committee's second report. The committee considered the broad priorities and underlying concepts of the program goals to be reasonable and credible but noted that for the program goals to be met or closely approached, well-managed, adequate resources had to be devoted to the program in a timely manner. In addition to specific technology evaluations and recommendations, the committee offered the following six major recommendations in the previous reports: Make program management and technical leadership of both government and industry activities more effective. Initiate and accelerate a comprehensive systems analysis program. Obtain and re-allocate federal and industry funding to activities consistent with promising technological potential within the time horizon and needs of the program. Conduct comprehensive assessments and benchmark foreign technology developments relevant to the PNGV. Continue to address infrastructure issues as an integral part of the program.

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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report TABLE 7-1 Potential of PNGV Candidate Technologies in the Committee's Second Report Major Subsystems Critical Technical Barriers Costa Likelihood of Meeting Schedulea Overall Potential Regardless of Scheduleb Basic Needs Hybrid Drivetrain Power Sources CIDI NOx catalyst Low High High Resources Fuel cell Fuel processor/reformer Fuel storage High Low Medium Breakthroughs Turbine Structural ceramics Exhaust heat recovery High Low Medium Breakthroughs Energy Storage Battery High cycle life Medium Medium Medium Resources, focused R&D Ultracapacitor Efficiency Self-discharge Safety Medium Medium Medium Breakthroughs, resources Battery/ultracapacitor Integration Safety Medium Medium High Breakthroughs, resources Flywheel Safety High Medium Medium Resources, focused R&D Power electronics Efficiency High High High Resources Lightweight Structural Materials Composite High-volume manufacture Crashworthiness High Low Medium Resources, focused R&D Aluminum High-volume manufacture Joining Medium High High Focused R&D Steel Weight Low Medium Medium Focused R&D a High cost is a barrier, as is low likelihood of meeting the PNGV schedule. b Long-term potential beyond 2004. Source: Table H-1 in NRC (1996).

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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report Involve other U.S. government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the DOD, and the EPA, more fully. It should be noted that recommendations 1 through 5 were made in the first report (NRC, 1994). The committee feels that insufficient attention or progress has been made in ameliorating these deficiencies since the 1994 review. The continued lack of progress or specific attention, especially to recommendations 1 through 3, may ultimately jeopardize meeting the PNGV program goals. The PNGV responded to the committee's recommendations in a letter from its Operational Steering Group, dated June 18, 1996. The committee also received a letter response from the DOT on March 25, 1996, stating that it concurred with the report's recommendations. These letters are included in Appendix D. The committee discussed the response letters with the PNGV at its September 1996 meeting in Dearborn, Michigan, and assessed the PNGV's actions to implement the committee's recommendations. The committee considered the PNGV responses in its June 18, 1996, letter (Appendix C ) to be specific, well articulated, and understandable within the context of a complex joint industry-government program, with one exception—the USCAR position on organization and management. USCAR rejected the committee's recommendations on organization and management in the first and second reports. Because the committee had addressed this issue in the two previous reports, it did not address it in the current reviews. The timely achievement of technical progress and the effective use of critical resources within the PNGV program will serve as a measure of the effectiveness of the USCAR's organization and management structure. The committee was also concerned that the PNGV response did not specifically address the committee's concerns about structural materials and powertrain developments. (See Chapter 5, ''Structural Materials," and Chapter 6, "Powertrain Developments," in NRC, 1996). The committee was also concerned about the lack of response regarding evaluations of the potential for various technologies to meet the PNGV performance, cost, and schedule objectives as summarized in Table H-1 of the committee's second report, and included in this report as Table 7-1 (NRC, 1996). The committee recognizes that the program is only in its fourth year; however, a realistic evaluation of the potential of each technology should provide a guide for a more appropriate allocation of resources, as recommended by the committee. This issue is particularly important in light of the PNGV's extremely difficult objectives, tight time frame, and limited financial resources. In the first report the committee recommended that the PNGV "make an analysis and divide all technologies related to Goal 3 into two categories: current PNGV and post-PNGV technologies" and identified the need to address infrastructure issues as "an integral part of the PNGV program systems analysis" (NRC, 1994). These recommendations continue to be favorably viewed by the program managers. The committee believes that the program would benefit

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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report significantly if (1) the major technologies the PNGV is pursuing were critically examined in light of current PNGV and post-PNGV technologies, and (2) the infrastructure issues were directly addressed as an integral part of the PNGV's technology trade-off studies and its decision-making process for 1997 technology selection. The PNGV has stated that the infrastructure implications "are not part of the PNGV charter. However, the federal government, through other programs, continues to analyze infrastructure issues and is trying to assure that these efforts align with PNGV progress." The committee fully accepts this position and is impressed with the initial results of the analysis; however, it is important that the petroleum industry be involved in PNGV fuel-related activities (see Chapter 6). In keeping with recommendation 6 from the second report, it is the committee's view that the DOD, DOT, NASA, and EPA still need to be more supportive and integrated into the PNGV research program. The relevance of certain ongoing R&D programs funded by these agencies to the PNGV technical objectives supports this view. The June 1996 PNGV response indicated satisfaction with the level of interagency participation to the extent that budgets permitted such cooperation. Although the committee understands this response, the level of support in terms of resources and funding is minimal in many areas. The DOT letter (Appendix C) addressed the committee's recommendation that "the PNGV should immediately involve the DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in identifying, addressing, and resolving the safety issues raised by Goal 3 vehicles." The March 1996 DOT letter stated that "funding was requested to develop advanced computer models and to obtain the computing capacity necessary to evaluate the crashworthiness characteristics of alternate vehicle designs and new lightweight materials, such as advanced composites proposed for use in the PNGV program." The letter further stated that "despite a strong effort on the part of the Department to secure funding for these initiatives in fiscal year 1996, Congress specifically denied this request on the basis that it was premature at this stage in the PNGV effort.'' The committee does not accept the position that such studies are premature at this stage because the crashworthiness of a vehicle depends on its structural design and materials. Also the weight of the vehicle will vary, depending on the design and the materials, and this is strongly related to fuel economy. REFERENCES NRC (National Research Council). 1994. Review of the Research 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 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.