Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Clean' Vehicle Research Initiative On Track, But Many Challenges Ahead

Date:
August 3, 2005
Source:
The National Academies
Summary:
A public-private effort to develop more fuel-efficient automobiles and eventually introduce hydrogen as a transportation fuel is well-planned and identifies all major hurdles the program will face, says a new report from the National Academies' National Research Council.

WASHINGTON -- A public-private effort to develop more fuel-efficientautomobiles and eventually introduce hydrogen as a transportation fuelis well-planned and identifies all major hurdles the program will face,says a new report from the National Academies' National ResearchCouncil. Many technical barriers must be overcome and new inventionswill be needed, but the program, which was launched three years ago,has already made an excellent start, said the committee that wrote thereport.

"The goals of this program are extremely challenging and success isuncertain, but it could have an enormous beneficial impact on energysecurity and the U.S. economy," said Craig Marks, committee chair andretired vice president for technology and productivity, AlliedSignalInc., Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Although it is still too early tospeculate whether the program will achieve its long-term vision, it ismaking significant headway."

The FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) and FuelPartnership, a research collaboration among the U.S. Department ofEnergy, the Big Three automakers, and five major energy companies,seeks to develop emissions-free and petroleum-free vehicles. Theprogram includes the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative -- initiatedin 2003 to develop technologies for hydrogen production anddistribution -- and is a successor to the Partnership for a NewGeneration of Vehicles, a collaboration between federal agencies andautomakers during the Clinton administration.

The long-term goal of the partnership is to develop technologythat will help automakers decide by 2015 whether it is possible tomanufacture and sell hydrogen-powered vehicles on a large scale. Toachieve this goal, the program's partners are examining cost-efficientand safe ways to produce hydrogen from traditional and renewable energysources, distribute it via filling stations, store it in vehicles, andconvert it to electricity with fuel cells. The program also sponsorsresearch to reduce the size, weight, and cost of all of the vehiclecomponents needed. While pursuing these goals, the program is exploringtechnology that, in the short term, will provide more efficient andless polluting combustion engines, as well as electric batteries thatcould be used in hybrid vehicles with either fossil fuel- orhydrogen-powered engines.

The program's most difficult long-term challenge is hydrogenstorage in vehicles, the report says. Hydrogen, whether gas or liquid,takes up more space than gasoline, requiring large, heavy tanks andfrequent refueling. Commercially viable fuel cells with the desiredperformance, durability, and cost are another major challenge. Also,appropriate hydrogen filling stations will need to be designed andwidely deployed. DOE should pay special attention to challenges andtechnological innovations that will arise during the shift frompetroleum to hydrogen as a transportation fuel, in order to set goalsand foster technologies that would speed the transition to a maturehydrogen economy, the report says.

Like gasoline, hydrogen is flammable, so safe systems fortransporting, storing, and handling it are needed. DOE should broadenits team of safety experts to identify overall safety issues, helpdevelop codes and standards, and increase public awareness of hydrogensafety issues to facilitate the introduction of hydrogen vehicles intothe marketplace, the report says. Also, DOE and the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency should investigate the possible long-termenvironmental effects of large-scale hydrogen production and its use intransportation vehicles. The FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership'smanagement should perform an overall program evaluation and analysis tohelp the program's partners establish priorities and make informeddecisions about possible trade-offs, the report adds.

Currently, short-term activities, such as research on advancedcombustion engines and electric batteries, receive 30 percent of theprogram's funding; long-term research on hydrogen energy technologiesreceives 70 percent. This funding split is suitable, the committeesaid, although for the past two years Congress has appropriatedsignificant portions of the overall funding for specific recipients andactivities not focused on program goals. If this practice continueswithout an overall funding increase to compensate for it, timingmilestones for the program will certainly slip, the committee said.

###

The study was sponsored bythe U.S. Department of Energy. The National Research Council is theprincipal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and theNational Academy of Engineering. It is a private, nonprofit institutionthat provides science and technology advice under a congressionalcharter. A committee roster follows.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The National Academies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The National Academies. "'Clean' Vehicle Research Initiative On Track, But Many Challenges Ahead." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803061135.htm>.
The National Academies. (2005, August 3). 'Clean' Vehicle Research Initiative On Track, But Many Challenges Ahead. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803061135.htm
The National Academies. "'Clean' Vehicle Research Initiative On Track, But Many Challenges Ahead." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050803061135.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins