Progress Cited In New-Car Technology | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 13 | p. 22 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 31, 2008

Progress Cited In New-Car Technology

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Sustainability

Development of new technologies for batteries, fuels cells, and hydrogen storage in cars is making significant progress, according to the National Research Council. The review of the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) & Fuel Partnership says the program to reduce dependence on imported oil and minimize environmental impact faces many barriers but the importance of the goals justifies the cost of research. Among the barriers are the need for better materials and designs for fuel cells and the problem of hydrogen storage in vehicles. The NRC report notes that great progress has been made in lithium battery technology but that the production cost is still twice the program's target. The report recommends that a strategic reassessment of the overall program plan be developed that accounts for changing national priorities and research goals. Consideration should also be given to economic and societal restrictions that could impede completion of the program's objective of moving from a petroleum-based fuel to hydrogen. FreedomCAR is a collaboration of the Department of Energy, the three major U.S. automakers, and five energy companies.

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