Vehicle Research and Development
Directs the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to conduct a program of basic and applied research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities on materials, technologies, and processes with the potential to substantially reduce or eliminate petroleum use by, and emissions from, the nation's passenger and commercial vehicles.
Requires the program to include activities in the areas of: hybridization or full electrification of vehicle systems; batteries, ultracapacitors, and other energy storage devices; power electronics; engine efficiency and combustion optimization; waste heat recovery; hydrogen vehicle technologies; compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas vehicle technologies; reduction of vehicle weight, friction, and wear; innovative propulsion systems; hydraulic hybrid technologies; engine compatibility with and optimization for a variety of transportation fuels; refueling and charging infrastructure for alternative fueled and electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles; gaseous fuels storage system and system integration and optimization; sensing, communications, and actuation technologies for vehicle, electrical grid, and infrastructure; efficient use, substitution, and recycling of potentially critical materials in vehicles; and retrofitting advanced vehicle technologies to existing vehicles.
Directs the Secretary to ensure that DOE 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 technology;
(2) multiple battery chemistries and novel energy storage devices;
(3) communication, connectivity, and power flow amount vehicles, infrastructure, and the electrical grid; and
(4) lightweight vehicles and materials.
Requires activities under this Act to be carried out in collaboration with automotive manufacturers, heavy commercial and transit vehicle manufacturers, qualified plug-in electric vehicle manufacturers, compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas vehicle manufacturers, vehicle and engine equipment and component manufacturers, manufacturing equipment manufacturers, advanced vehicle service providers, fuel producers and energy suppliers, electric utilities, institutions of higher education, national laboratories, and independent research laboratories.
Requires the Secretary to: 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; formalize partnerships with industry-led stakeholder organizations, nonprofit organizations, industry consortia, and trade associations with expertise in advanced automotive and commercial vehicle technologies; develop more efficient processes for transferring research findings and technologies to industry; give consideration to conversion of existing or former vehicle technology manufacturing facilities for researching and developing advanced vehicle technologies; 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 technology; promote efforts to ensure that technology research, development, engineering, and commercial application activities funded under this Act are carried out; coordinate activities between relevant DOE programs and offices and other federal agencies; inform other agencies of the potential for demonstrating technologies funded by this Act; and support and utilize state and local government initiatives in advanced vehicle technology development.
Requires the Secretary, when awarding cost-shared grants under this program, to give priority to those technologies 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 U.S. employment.
Requires the Secretary to conduct research, development, and demonstration activities on connectivity of vehicle and transportation systems, including technologies for:
(1) onboard vehicle, engine, and component sensing and actuation;
(2) vehicle-to-vehicle sensing and communication; and
(3) vehicle-to-infrastructure sensing and communication.
Requires the Secretary to carry out a research, development, engineering, demonstration, and commercial application program of advanced vehicle manufacturing technologies and practices, including innovative processes to: increase the production rate and decrease the cost of advanced battery manufacturing; vary the capability of individual manufacturing facilities to accommodate different battery chemistries and configurations; reduce waste streams, emissions, and energy-intensity of vehicle, engine, advanced battery, and component manufacturing processes; recycle and remanufacture used batteries and other vehicle components for reuse in vehicles or stationary applications; produce cost-effective lightweight materials such as advanced metal alloys, polymeric composites, and carbon fiber; produce lightweight high pressure storage systems for gaseous fuels; design and manufacture purpose-built hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles and components; improve the calendar life and cycle life of advanced batteries; and produce permanent magnets for advanced vehicles.
Requires the Secretary to report to Congress:
(1) annually through 2017 on the technologies developed as a result of this Act, with emphasis on technologies that were successfully adopted for commercial applications and, if so, whether products relying on those technologies are manufactured in the United States; and
(2) annually on activities undertaken, 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.