To provide for a program of research, development, demonstration,
and commercial application in vehicle technologies at the Department
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 6 (legislative day, April 5), 2011
Ms. STABENOW introduced the following bill; which was read twice and
referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To provide for a program of research, development, demonstration,
and commercial application in vehicle technologies at the Department
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2011'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) According to the Energy Information Administration, the transportation
sector accounts for approximately 28 percent of the United States
primary energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions, and 24 percent
of global oil demand.
(2) The United States transportation sector is over 95 percent dependent
on petroleum, and over 60 percent of petroleum demand is met by imported
(3) United States heavy truck fuel consumption will increase 23 percent
by 2030, while overall transportation energy use will decline by 1
(4) The domestic automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturing sectors
have increasingly limited resources for research, development, and
engineering of advanced technologies.
(5) Vehicle, engine, and component manufacturers are playing a more
important role in vehicle technology development, and should be better
integrated into Federal research efforts.
(6) Priorities for the Department of Energy's vehicle technologies
research have shifted drastically in recent years among diesel hybrids,
hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and plug-in electric hybrids, with little
continuity among them.
(7) The integration of vehicle, communication, and infrastructure
technologies has great potential for efficiency gains through better
management of the total transportation system.
(8) The Federal Government should balance its role in researching
longer-term exploratory concepts and developing nearer-term transformational
technologies for vehicles.
SEC. 3. OBJECTIVES.
The objectives of this Act are to--
(1) develop United States technologies and practices that--
(A) improve the fuel efficiency and emissions of all vehicles produced
in the United States; and
(B) reduce vehicle reliance on petroleum-based fuels;
(2) support domestic research, development, engineering, demonstration,
and commercial application and manufacturing of advanced vehicles,
engines, and components;
(3) enable vehicles to move larger volumes of goods and more passengers
with less energy and emissions;
(4) develop cost-effective advanced technologies for wide-scale utilization
throughout the passenger, commercial, government, and transit vehicle
(5) allow for greater consumer choice of vehicle technologies and
(6) shorten technology development and integration cycles in the vehicle
(7) ensure a proper balance and diversity of Federal investment in
vehicle technologies; and
(8) strengthen partnerships between Federal and State governmental
agencies and the private and academic sectors.
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.
For the purposes of this Act:
(1) DEPARTMENT- The term `Department' means the Department of Energy.
(2) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Energy.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for United
States research, development, engineering, demonstration, and commercial
application of vehicles and related technologies, including activities
authorized under this Act, such sums as may be necessary for each of
fiscal years 2012 through 2016.
TITLE I--VEHICLE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
SEC. 101. PROGRAM.
(a) Activities- The Secretary shall conduct a program of basic and applied
research, development, engineering, demonstration, and commercial application
activities on materials, technologies, and processes with the potential
to substantially reduce or eliminate petroleum use and the emissions
of the Nation's passenger and commercial vehicles, including activities
in the areas of--
(1) hybridization or full electrification of vehicle systems;
(2) batteries and other energy storage devices;
(4) vehicle, component, and subsystem manufacturing technologies and
(5) engine efficiency and combustion optimization;
(7) transmission and drivetrains;
(8) hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells and internal
combustion engines, and hydrogen infrastructure;
(9) compressed natural gas vehicle technologies;
(10) aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and accessory power loads of
vehicles and associated equipment;
(11) vehicle weight reduction, including lightweighting materials;
(12) friction and wear reduction;
(13) engine and component durability;
(14) innovative propulsion systems;
(15) advanced boosting systems;
(16) hydraulic hybrid technologies;
(17) engine compatibility with and optimization for a variety of transportation
fuels including natural gas and other liquid and gaseous fuels;
(18) predictive engineering, modeling, and simulation of vehicle and
(19) refueling and charging infrastructure for alternative fueled
and electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, including the unique
challenges facing rural areas;
(20) gaseous fuels storage systems and system integration and optimization;
(21) sensing, communications, and actuation technologies for vehicle,
electrical grid, and infrastructure;
(22) efficient use, substitution, and recycling of potentially critical
materials in vehicles, including rare earth elements and precious
metals, at risk of supply disruption;
(23) aftertreatment technologies;
(24) thermal management of battery systems;
(25) retrofitting advanced vehicle technologies to existing vehicles;
(26) development of common standards, specifications, and architectures
for both transportation and stationary battery applications;
(27) advanced internal combustion engines; and
(28) other research areas as determined by the Secretary.
(b) Transformational Technology- The Secretary shall ensure that the
Department continues to support research, development, engineering,
demonstration, and commercial application activities and maintains competency
in mid- to long-term transformational vehicle technologies with potential
to achieve deep reductions in petroleum use and emissions, including
activities in the areas of--
(1) hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells, internal
combustion engines, hydrogen storage, infrastructure, and activities
in hydrogen technology validation and safety codes and standards;
(2) multiple battery chemistries and novel energy storage devices,
including nonchemical batteries and electromechanical storage technologies
such as hydraulics, flywheels, and compressed air storage;
(3) communication and connectivity among vehicles, infrastructure,
and the electrical grid; and
(4) other innovative technologies research and development, as determined
by the Secretary.
(c) Industry Participation- To the maximum extent practicable, activities
under this Act shall be carried out in partnership or collaboration
with automotive manufacturers, heavy commercial, vocational, and transit
vehicle manufacturers, qualified plug-in electric vehicle manufacturers,
compressed natural gas vehicle manufacturers, vehicle and engine equipment
and component manufacturers, manufacturing equipment manufacturers,
advanced vehicle service providers, fuel producers and energy suppliers,
electric utilities, universities, national laboratories, and independent
research laboratories. In carrying out this Act the Secretary shall--
(1) determine whether a wide range of companies that manufacture or
assemble vehicles or components in the United States are represented
in ongoing public private partnership activities, including firms
that have not traditionally participated in federally sponsored research
and development activities, and where possible, partner with such
firms that conduct significant and relevant research and development
activities in the United States;
(2) leverage the capabilities and resources of, and formalize partnerships
with, industry-led stakeholder organizations, nonprofit organizations,
industry consortia, and trade associations with expertise in the research
and development of, and education and outreach activities in, advanced
automotive and commercial vehicle technologies;
(3) develop more efficient processes for transferring research findings
and technologies to industry;
(4) give consideration to conversion of existing or former vehicle
technology development or manufacturing facilities for the purposes
of this Act;
(5) establish and support public-private partnerships, dedicated to
overcoming barriers in commercial application of transformational
vehicle technologies, that utilize such industry-led technology development
facilities of entities with demonstrated expertise in successfully
designing and engineering pre-commercial generations of such transformational
(6) promote efforts to ensure that technology research, development,
engineering, and commercial application activities funded under this
Act are carried out in the United States.
(d) Interagency and Intraagency Coordination- To the maximum extent
practicable, the Secretary shall coordinate research, development, demonstration,
and commercial application activities among--
(1) relevant programs within the Department, including--
(A) the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy;
(B) the Office of Science;
(C) the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability;
(D) the Office of Fossil Energy;
(E) the Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy; and
(F) other offices as determined by the Secretary; and
(2) relevant technology research and development programs within other
Federal agencies, as determined by the Secretary.
(e) Coordination and Nonduplication- In coordinating activities the
Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that activities
do not duplicate those of other programs within the Department or other
relevant research agencies.
(f) Federal Demonstration of Technologies- The Secretary shall make
information available to procurement programs of Federal agencies regarding
the potential to demonstrate technologies resulting from activities
funded through programs under this Act.
(g) Intergovernmental Coordination- The Secretary shall seek opportunities
to leverage resources and support initiatives of State and local governments
in developing and promoting advanced vehicle technologies, manufacturing,
(h) Criteria- When awarding grants under this program, the Secretary
shall give priority to those technologies (either individually or as
part of a system) that--
(1) provide the greatest aggregate fuel savings based on the reasonable
projected sales volumes of the technology; and
(2) provide the greatest increase in United States employment.
SEC. 102. SENSING AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES.
The Secretary, in coordination with the relevant research programs of
other Federal agencies, shall conduct research, development, engineering,
and demonstration activities on connectivity of vehicle and transportation
systems, including on sensing, computation, communication, and actuation
technologies that allow for reduced fuel use, optimized traffic flow,
and vehicle electrification, including technologies for--
(1) onboard vehicle, engine, and component sensing and actuation;
(2) vehicle-to-vehicle sensing and communication;
(3) vehicle-to-infrastructure sensing and communication; and
(4) vehicle integration with the electrical grid.
SEC. 103. MANUFACTURING.
The Secretary shall carry out a research, development, engineering,
demonstration, and commercial application program of advanced vehicle
manufacturing technologies and practices, including innovative processes
(1) increase the production rate and decrease the cost of advanced
(2) vary the capability of individual manufacturing facilities to
accommodate different battery chemistries and configurations;
(3) reduce waste streams, emissions, and energy-intensity of vehicle,
engine, advanced battery and component manufacturing processes;
(4) recycle and remanufacture used batteries and other vehicle components
for reuse in vehicles or stationary applications;
(5) produce cost-effective lightweight materials such as advanced
metal alloys, polymeric composites, and carbon fiber;
(6) produce lightweight high pressure storage systems for gaseous
(7) design and manufacture purpose-built hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles
(8) improve the calendar life and cycle life of advanced batteries;
(9) produce permanent magnets for advanced vehicles.
SEC. 104. USER TESTING FACILITIES.
Activities under this Act may include construction, expansion, or modification
of new and existing vehicle, engine, and component research and testing
(1) testing or simulating interoperability of a variety of vehicle
components and systems;
(2) subjecting whole or partial vehicle platforms to fully representative
duty cycles and operating conditions;
(3) developing and demonstrating a range of chemistries and configurations
for advanced vehicle battery manufacturing; and
(4) developing and demonstrating test cycles for new and alternative
fuels, and other advanced vehicle technologies.
SEC. 105. REPORTING.
(a) Technologies Developed- Not later than 18 months after the date
of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter through 2017, the Secretary
of Energy shall transmit to Congress a report regarding the technologies
developed as a result of the activities authorized by this title, with
a particular emphasis on whether the technologies were successfully
adopted for commercial applications, and if so, whether products relying
on those technologies are manufactured in the United States.
(b) Additional Matters- At the end of each fiscal year through 2017
the Secretary shall submit to the relevant Congressional committees
of jurisdiction an annual report describing activities undertaken in
the previous year under this title, active industry participants, efforts
to recruit new participants committed to design, engineering, and manufacturing
of advanced vehicle technologies in the United States, progress of the
program in meeting goals and timelines, and a strategic plan for funding
of activities across agencies.
TITLE II--MEDIUM AND HEAVY DUTY COMMERCIAL AND TRANSIT VEHICLES
SEC. 201. PROGRAM.
(a) In General- The Secretary, in partnership with relevant research
and development programs in other Federal agencies, and a range of appropriate
industry stakeholders, shall carry out a program of cooperative research,
development, demonstration, and commercial application activities on
advanced technologies for medium- to heavy-duty commercial, vocational,
recreational, and transit vehicles, including activities in the areas
(1) engine efficiency and combustion research;
(2) onboard storage technologies for compressed and liquefied natural
(3) development and integration of engine technologies designed for
natural gas operation of a variety of vehicle platforms;
(4) waste heat recovery and conversion;
(5) improved aerodynamics and tire rolling resistance;
(6) energy and space-efficient emissions control systems;
(7) heavy hybrid, hybrid hydraulic, plug-in hybrid, and electric platforms,
and energy storage technologies;
(8) drivetrain optimization;
(9) friction and wear reduction;
(10) engine idle and parasitic energy loss reduction;
(11) electrification of accessory loads;
(12) onboard sensing and communications technologies;
(13) advanced lightweighting materials and vehicle designs;
(14) increasing load capacity per vehicle;
(15) thermal management of battery systems;
(16) recharging infrastructure;
(17) compressed natural gas infrastructure;
(18) advanced internal combustion engines;
(19) complete vehicle modeling and simulation;
(20) hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells and internal
combustion engines, and hydrogen infrastructure;
(21) retrofitting advanced technologies onto existing truck fleets;
(22) integration of these and other advanced systems onto a single
truck and trailer platform.
(b) Leadership- The Secretary shall appoint a full-time Director to
coordinate research, development, demonstration, and commercial application
activities in medium- to heavy-duty commercial, recreational, and transit
vehicle technologies. Responsibilities of the Director shall be to--
(1) improve coordination and develop consensus between government
agency and industry partners, and propose new processes for program
management and priority setting to better align activities and budgets
(2) regularly convene workshops, site visits, demonstrations, conferences,
investor forums, and other events in which information and research
findings are shared among program participants and interested stakeholders;
(3) develop a budget for the Department's activities with regard to
the interagency program, and provide consultation and guidance on
vehicle technology funding priorities across agencies;
(4) determine a process for reviewing program technical goals, targets,
and timetables and, where applicable, aided by life-cycle impact and
cost analysis, propose revisions or elimination based on program progress,
available funding, and rate of technology adoption;
(5) evaluate ongoing activities of the program and recommend project
modifications, including the termination of projects, where applicable;
(6) recruit new industry participants to the interagency program,
including truck, trailer, and component manufacturers who have not
traditionally participated in federally sponsored research and technology
development activities; and
(7) other responsibilities as determined by the Secretary, in consultation
with interagency and industry partners.
(c) Reporting- At the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit
to the Congress an annual report describing activities undertaken in
the previous year, active industry participants, efforts to recruit
new participants, progress of the program in meeting goals and timelines,
and a strategic plan for funding of activities across agencies.
SEC. 202. CLASS 8 TRUCK AND TRAILER SYSTEMS DEMONSTRATION.
The Secretary shall conduct a competitive grant program to demonstrate
the integration of multiple advanced technologies on Class 8 truck and
trailer platforms with a goal of improving overall freight efficiency,
as measured in tons and volume of freight hauled or other work performance-based
metrics, by 50 percent, including a combination of technologies listed
in section 201(a). Applicant teams may be comprised of truck and trailer
manufacturers, engine and component manufacturers, fleet customers,
university researchers, and other applicants as appropriate for the
development and demonstration of integrated Class 8 truck and trailer
SEC. 203. TECHNOLOGY TESTING AND METRICS.
The Secretary, in coordination with the partners of the interagency
research program described in section 201(a)--
(1) shall develop standard testing procedures and technologies for
evaluating the performance of advanced heavy vehicle technologies
under a range of representative duty cycles and operating conditions,
including for heavy hybrid propulsion systems;
(2) shall evaluate heavy vehicle performance using work performance-based
metrics other than those based on miles per gallon, including those
based on units of volume and weight transported for freight applications,
and appropriate metrics based on the work performed by nonroad systems;
(3) may construct heavy duty truck and bus testing facilities.
SEC. 204. NONROAD SYSTEMS PILOT PROGRAM.
The Secretary shall undertake a pilot program of research, development,
demonstration, and commercial applications of technologies to improve
total machine or system efficiency for nonroad mobile equipment including
agricultural and construction equipment, and shall seek opportunities
to transfer relevant research findings and technologies between the
nonroad and on-highway equipment and vehicle sectors.