80 mpg, and, even then, it will be difficult to achieve in production vehicles with adequate probability for meeting the certification period of 100,000 miles. The development of vehicles of radical design (e.g., a fuel-cell vehicle) for mass production by 2004 is also highly optimistic.

The second definition of success, although it does not include the cost parity envisioned in the original goal, recognizes that the ultimate objective of reducing fuel consumption would be served by achieving large market penetration of the new technologies. In effect, 60 mpg instead of 80 mpg would still represent a major reduction in fuel consumption. For a car traveling 15,000 miles per year, the baseline vehicle would use 560 gallons, the 60-mpg car 310 gallons, and the 80-mpg car 190 gallons.

In the third definition, success is reflected by the commercial introduction of radically new technology, such as a fuel-cell power plant, rather than the construction of a specific short-term prototype production vehicle.


Goals 1 and 2

Although most of the discussion about achievements and barriers is directed toward Goal 3, the committee found evidence of continuing and significant progress toward achieving goals 1 and 2:

  • the successful completion of a project to demonstrate continuous cast sheets of Series 5000 aluminum for body structures and a follow-up project to develop similar processes for exterior body parts

  • several smaller efforts to expand aluminum manufacturing and assembly capabilities and an alliance between the automotive and aluminum industries to address standardization, scrap recovery, and other issues

  • cost reduction of carbon-fiber composites, improvement of their properties, and development of new manufacturing techniques, as well as the recycling and design of hybrid material bodies

  • the development of techniques for predicting aluminum springback

Goal 3 Achievements

Substantial technical progress has been made in reducing the energy required to propel the vehicle (e.g., reduced mass, drag, etc.) and supplying auxiliary loads (e.g., heating, air conditioning, etc.). Simultaneous efforts have resulted in continued improvements in the efficiency and performance of power plants (e.g., 4SDI engines, fuel cells), performance and life of energy storage devices (batteries), and in the development of modeling and simulation techniques. The

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