5
PNGV's Response to the Phase 4 Report

In its previous four reviews, the National Research Council Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the PNGV made a number of recommendations, which were documented in published reports (NRC, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998a). In the fourth report, the committee made both specific recommendations for each of the technologies under development and general recommendations for the program as a whole. Appendix C contains a letter from the PNGV to the committee chairman documenting the responses by the PNGV to the major recommendations contained in the Executive Summary of the fourth report (NRC, 1998a). (The responses indicated below can be found in Appendix C.) Although for the most part, the PNGV has been responsive to these recommendations, the committee still has some concerns about the extent to which the PNGV has responded to the following five recommendations:

Recommendation from Fourth Report. The PNGV should continue to refine its detailed cost of ownership analyses of hybrid vs. non-hybrid vehicles. If the economic and performance benefits of the hybrid vehicle do not exceed or warrant its additional costs, the concept demonstration vehicle program should be expanded to include non-hybrid vehicles to accelerate the development and commercial introduction of economically viable technologies.

PNGV Response. We agree the hybrid technologies are one of the most challenging aspects of the PNGV effort, but probably essential to meeting the ultimate three-fold fuel economy stretch target. Most PNGV



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--> 5 PNGV's Response to the Phase 4 Report In its previous four reviews, the National Research Council Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the PNGV made a number of recommendations, which were documented in published reports (NRC, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998a). In the fourth report, the committee made both specific recommendations for each of the technologies under development and general recommendations for the program as a whole. Appendix C contains a letter from the PNGV to the committee chairman documenting the responses by the PNGV to the major recommendations contained in the Executive Summary of the fourth report (NRC, 1998a). (The responses indicated below can be found in Appendix C.) Although for the most part, the PNGV has been responsive to these recommendations, the committee still has some concerns about the extent to which the PNGV has responded to the following five recommendations: Recommendation from Fourth Report. The PNGV should continue to refine its detailed cost of ownership analyses of hybrid vs. non-hybrid vehicles. If the economic and performance benefits of the hybrid vehicle do not exceed or warrant its additional costs, the concept demonstration vehicle program should be expanded to include non-hybrid vehicles to accelerate the development and commercial introduction of economically viable technologies. PNGV Response. We agree the hybrid technologies are one of the most challenging aspects of the PNGV effort, but probably essential to meeting the ultimate three-fold fuel economy stretch target. Most PNGV

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--> technologies (light-weight, efficient power sources, low rolling resistance and aero, new fuels, etc.) are applicable to both hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles. The committee believes that the analysis presented during this Phase 5 review on vehicle cost and cost of ownership is still inadequate as a guide to the selection of specific technologies to meet affordability requirements. Of course, the USCAR partners are engaged in making cost analyses that are proprietary to each company. Nevertheless, without compromising proprietary concerns, the committee urges the PNGV to work vigorously to develop a detailed assessment of the costs and benefits of the HEV compared to a non-hybrid vehicle. Recommendation from Fourth Report. Systems analysis and computer modeling are essential tools for making system trade-offs and optimizing performance. The PNGV should create detailed, rigorous cost and design reliability models as soon as possible to support ongoing technology selection. These models should be continuously up-graded as new information becomes available. PNGV Response. As the PNGV program progresses, the focus is evolving from a technology/performance priority toward a greater emphasis on cost, reliability and manufacturing in addition to performance. We agree that many of the technology programs have now reached the point where ''affordability" will be given greater priority. Each of the Technical Teams has been assigned cost targets and is addressing the "affordability" challenges. We will report on the status of this work at the fifth PNGV Review. PNGVSAT includes both a design reliability model and cost trade-off model that will be exercised more fully as the designs mature. Warranty and reliability continue to be major automotive industry focuses. Recommendation from Fourth Report. Because cost is a significant challenge to PNGV, the USCAR partners should continue to conduct in-depth cost analyses and to use the results to guide new development initiatives on components and subsystems. PNGV Response. We agree. This is being done on both a collaborative basis through the Tech Teams and proprietary basis at the companies. The PNGV has still not presented detailed, rigorous cost and design-reliability models to the committee, and the committee found little evidence that reliability models have been created for the vehicle system. The cost data presented during this review appeared to be gross variance data without detailed analysis.

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--> Establishing a confidence level in these data is difficult without a more detailed vehicle subsystem breakdown. The committee notes, however, that the individual companies have undertaken detailed cost studies, and the committee urges that the PNGV also conduct in-depth cost analyses (without compromising the proprietary information of individual companies). Recommendation from Fourth Report. The government should significantly expand its support for the development of long-term PNGV technologies that have the potential to improve fuel economy, lower emissions, and be commercially viable. PNGV Response. Fundamental work at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and Department of Energy is addressing long-term PNGV technical needs. The PNGV response to the recommendation did not convince the committee that the issue is being addressed adequately. The committee recognizes that each federal agency has its own mission and may not be able to increase activities that would directly benefit the PNGV research program. The committee is aware that the DOE OAAT program engages in R&D that is directly relevant to the PNGV and that the appropriations for fiscal year 1999 have been increased for some of the longer range technologies, such as fuel cells, but not enough to confront the challenges facing the development of these technologies. In general, the committee believes the PNGV has been responsive to most of the recommendations for the individual technology development areas. The PNGV has responded well to all of the committee's recommendations in the fourth report on 4SDI engine development, as well as to the recommendations on fuel cells. The remaining two power plants that had been under development, the gas-turbine and Stirling engines, have now been discontinued. The development of ultracapacitors and flywheels as energy-storage devices have also been discontinued. During the review of battery developments in the fourth review, the committee's recommendations included the following one below: Recommendation from Fourth Report. The PNGV should update the storage requirements and goals by means of subsystem models integrated with the overall system analysis. In addition to specific energy, test results should be reported on energy efficiency and specific power over well defined test protocols and compared to the refined goals. The committee believes that the response by the PNGV during its presentations on battery developments and in answers to committee questions has been inadequate, as evidenced by the absence of data on energy efficiency and the

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--> paucity of data on specific power (except by special committee requests) in the current review. PNGV's review of targets, based on systems integration, consisted of lowering the goal for regenerative pulse power for the dual-mode hybrid vehicle, an inconsequential change. The PNGV also discovered inconsistencies in the targets for dual-mode operation compared to power-assist operation, but nothing was done to correct them. PNGV continues to make meaningful progress in many technical areas and to allocate resources to the most promising technologies for the concept vehicles. Although the USCAR partners are also focusing more of their resources on the development of the concept vehicles, they have also been working on other experimental vehicles. In several previous reports, the committee concluded that insufficient resources have been allocated for the PNGV program to meet the objectives of Goal 3. The committee still believes the program will require additional resources to meet the severe development challenges that lie ahead.