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US House Passes $2.85B Bill for Advanced Technology Vehicle R&D from 2010-2014

The US House yesterday passed by a vote of 312-114 a bill that would authorize additional appropriations totalling $2.85 billion over the 2010-2014 period for the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support a broad range of research activities for advanced technology vehicles.

H.R. 3246, the “Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009” covers research on light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as infrastructure and pilot programs. Ultimately targeting the development of technologies and practices that improve the fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of vehicles produced in the US, the bill also aims to “ensure a proper balance and diversity of Federal investment in vehicle technologies”, while strengthening “partnerships between Federal and State governmental agencies and the private and academic sectors.

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. The integration of vehicle, communication, and infrastructure technologies has great potential for efficiency gains through better management of the total transportation system.

The Federal Government should balance its role in researching longer-term exploratory concepts and developing nearer-term transformational technologies for vehicles.

—H.R. 3246

Of the $2.85 billion, the bill specifies $1.1 billion (39%) be targeted at medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; $115 million (4%) for user facilities; and $60 million (2%) for a non-road pilot program.

The bill sets out a broad range of supported areas for research activities, including:

  1. hybridization or full electrification of vehicle systems;
  2. batteries and other energy storage devices;
  3. power electronics;
  4. vehicle, component, and subsystem manufacturing technologies and processes;
  5. engine efficiency and combustion optimization;
  6. waste heat recovery;
  7. transmission and drivetrains;
  8. hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells and internal combustion engines, and hydrogen infrastructure;
  9. aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and accessory power loads of vehicles and associated equipment;
  10. vehicle weight reduction;
  11. friction and wear reduction;
  12. engine and component durability;
  13. innovative propulsion systems;
  14. advanced boosting systems;
  15. hydraulic hybrid technologies;
  16. engine compatibility with and optimization for a variety of transportation fuels including liquid and gaseous fuels;
  17. predictive engineering, modeling, and simulation of vehicle and transportation systems;
  18. refueling and charging infrastructure for alternative fueled and electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles, including the unique challenges facing rural areas;
  19. gaseous fuels storage system integration and optimization;
  20. sensing, communications, and actuation technologies for vehicle, electrical grid, and infrastructure;
  21. efficient use and recycling of rare earth materials, and reduction of precious metals and other high-cost materials in vehicles;
  22. aftertreatment technologies;
  23. thermal management of battery systems;
  24. retrofitting advanced vehicle technologies to existing vehicles;
  25. development of common standards, specifications, and architectures for both transportation and stationary battery applications; and
  26. other research areas as determined by the Secretary.

Transformational technologies. The bill puts particular emphasis on transformational technologies with potential to achieve deep reductions in petroleum use and emissions, including:

  • hydrogen vehicle technologies, including fuel cells, internal combustion engines, hydrogen storage, infrastructure, and activities in hydrogen technology validation and safety codes and standards;
  • multiple battery chemistries and novel energy storage devices, including nonchemical batteries and electromechanical storage technologies such as hydraulics, flywheels, and compressed air storage;
  • communication and connectivity among vehicles, infrastructure, and the electrical grid; and
  • other innovative technologies research and development, as determined by the Secretary.

Innovative Automotive Demonstration Program. The bill directs the establishment of an Innovative Automotive Demonstration Program within the existing Vehicle Technologies Program to encourage the introduction of new vehicles into the marketplace.

The target is vehicles capable of achieving energy efficiencies significantly greater than required under current and pending Federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. (EPA and NHTSA just released their joint proposed rulemaking for an average 250g/mile CO2 and 34.1 mpg US limit by 2016, earlier post.) Awards under this section are to be made on a competitive basis for demonstration of vehicles that carry at least four passengers; achieve at least 70 mpg or equivalent; provide acceptable performance; meet all Federal and State emissions requirement; and meet all Federal safety requirements, in addition to other criteria.

The bill also specifies the appointment of a full-time Director to coordinate research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities in medium- to heavy-duty commercial, recreational, and transit vehicle technologies.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-9) and 16 co-sponsors.



Roger Pham,

Concerning sympathy, research, cars - read,0,652329.story

"However, please realize that it is the very existence of Health Insurance, or Third Party Payor system in general, that has wrecked the American Health care system, escalating the cost of obtaining health care and bankrupting our industries and our economy."

Agreed and that means END for-profit medical insurance and have universal healthcare, which is exactly what 39 advanced, civilized nations have done.

Universal healthcare is less expensive. Britain, Canada, Germany, etc. spend about 10% of GNP for healthcare, but America spends 16% GNP to cover only 80% of the people(50 million uninsured).

Actually, Webster says insurance is "a means of guarenteeing protection or safety". 250 million 'insured' Americans know they can (and many do) go bankrupt from their premiums and 20% 'co-pay'. 50 million uninsured Americans daily fear pain/death unable to receive hospital admission/proper course of treatment - and 20,000 die each year because of it.


So who the frick in America presently has "a means of guarenteeing protection or safety" in their healthcare?

If 50 lawmakers and medical insurance executives died daily there might be 300 million alibis.

Roger Pham

Somehow, I am not allowed to post anything on this topic any more!

Roger Pham

Single payer is still Third Party Payer. Worse, everybody, rich or poor, will receive rationed health care, with long waiting times to see specialists. Tax burden in countries with Universal health care coverage is very high, not something that American would want. Unless the Drs. are guaranteed immunity from lawsuits for any adverse outcome, the Drs. will like continue the pattern of ordering a lot of tests and procedures for CYA purpose, since the patients do not have to pay for these expenses.

Roger Pham

Typepad did not allow me to post the second part of the solution for reduction in health care cost!

Roger Pham

A more effective way to reduce the cost of health care is to make everyone pay directly for it out of pocket! Guaranteed loans may be made available for catastrophic costs that is beyond a patient's saving account, but must be paid off gradually. There will be tremendous savings in cost as the results of direct competition of all providers.

Roger Pham

whew! finally, after removal of keywords that may have triggered censorship.


Roger, the Third Party Payer system is how the rest of the world has reduced the cost of health care.
Healthcare in America is a business, and the only goal of a business is to make money. All they want is to maximize profits and competing with each other doesn't do that. There's no profit in well people, there's no profit in dead people, and there's no profit in competing for sick people when it's easier to make more of them with junk food and keep them alive with a never ending supply of pills.

Roger Pham

@ai vin,
Imagine that electricity, or water, or gas is delivered and paid for via a Third-party system: Everyone will be required to pay a monthly premium for whatever amount of utility that he/she needs...there will no longer be electricty, nor water, nor gas metering...What would happen? No more incentive for conservation...People would set their houses as cool as they please in the summer, and water their yards everyday...Pretty soon, consumption will go thru the roof...

And, what if there are 45 millions people too poor to pay a monthly premium in order to use utilities like electricity as freely as they want? Oh, we can't let them suffer like the richest country in the world! Universal Utility coverage...everyone will be able to use their electricity, water and gas for FREE...
Oh, what about food, or cars? Can't let our people suffer from deprivation like that!

LET'S TURN COMMUN*ST! "To each according to his needs!!!"


Really Roger? Communism? THAT'S your big fear?

Why do Americans aways need to go to such extremes? The extreme of anything, whether it's capitalism or communism are just as bad. You've got the extreme of one and you fear the extreme of the other when all the other advanced nations of the world have found a happy middle ground.

Roger Pham

Fear? It's past fear...going into crisis. Our country (USA) is bankrupting itself from its socialistic/communistic health care practice, losing one industry after another due to heavy health benefit burden...the government is running deficits after deficits...medicare will become insolvent in the next decades...after 1-2 decades, every job in the USA will be devoted to health care, and a large proportion of GDP will be consumed by health care, at this rate of growth...Fear...NO, IT'S A SAD REALITY...China starved themselves under Mao's communism and decide to got rid themselve of, the people there pay for their own health care...and their industries take over that of all the socialistic countries...American Health care system is SOCIALISTIC...whether you realize it or not! And will be come more so under the big O (Ob---)

Stan Peterson

Lets us all applaud for the benefits of corporate governance by politicians and their accomplices. Let us applaud he greatness of central planning, administered by politicians and their questionably competent accomplices.

Can we increase the money we have give to politically connected insiders who produce none, or contract for others to build a handful of toy cars? Tesla founders got their big taxpayer funded boodle. Fisker founders are getting theirs taxpayer funded present too. Isn't it about time for the self described oracle atop the Rocky mountains to get his?

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