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Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009

Bill Summary and Status

Passed the House on September 16, 2009

Reported (as amended) by the Full Committee on July 29, 2009

Cleared the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on July 21, 2009 

Introduced in the House on July 17, 2009


Section 1. Short title

Sec. 2. Findings--States that Congress finds that: the transportation sector accounts for a significant portion of U.S. and global energy use, emissions, and oil consumption; the U.S. is overly dependent on foreign oil; heavy vehicle fuel consumption will grow; domestic vehicle manufacturers have increasingly limited resources for R&D; engine and component manufacturers play an important role in technology development; Departmental priorities have shifted drastically in recent years; vehicle connectivity to other vehicles, infrastructure and electrical grid can improve efficiency; federal R&D programs should be balanced between long-term and near-term technology development.

Sec. 3. Objectives--States that the objectives of the program are to develop technologies that improve efficiency and emissions of vehicles, reduce reliance on petroleum; support vehicle manufacturing in the U.S; develop cost-effective vehicle technologies for wide-scale utilization; enhance commercial and passenger vehicle performance; allow for greater consumer choice; shorten technology penetration time; ensure balance and diversity in federal R&D investment; and strengthen public-private R&D partnerships.

Sec. 4. Definitions--Defines `Department' as the Department of Energy, and `Secretary' as the Secretary of Energy.

Sec. 5. Authorization of appropriations--Authorizes to be appropriated approximately $550 million per year for all vehicle technology programs at the Department over 5 years, increasingly incrementally for inflation. Of that annual total, approximately $200 million will be for the Medium and Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles programs, $30 million will be for User Facilities, and $20 million will be for a Non-Road Pilot Program, over 5 years.


Sec. 101. Program

(a) Instructs the Secretary to conduct research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities on advanced vehicle materials, technologies, and processes in the areas of: hybridization and electrification; batteries and energy storage devices; power electronics; manufacturing technologies; engine efficiency and combustion; waste heat recovery; transmission and drivetrains; hydrogen technologies; aerodynamics; rolling resistance; accessory power loads; weight reduction; friction and wear reduction; durability; innovative propulsion systems; compatibility with non-petroleum fuels; modeling and simulation; refueling and charging infrastructure; sensing and communications; rare earth and precious metals; aftertreatment; battery thermal management; common standards and specifications; and other areas as determined by the Secretary.

(b) Instructs the Secretary to maintain programs in mid-to-long term transformational vehicle technologies such as hydrogen, multiple battery chemistries, novel energy storage devices, vehicle connectivity, and other areas as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Specifies that activities should be carried out in partnership or collaboration with a diverse set of non-governmental, private and academic entities, including those which have not previously participated in government-sponsored R&D activities; that the Secretary shall utilize and support other organizations with expertise in vehicle technology development; that technology transfer mechanisms will be streamlined; that existing or former manufacturing facilities should be utilized; and that technologies developed by these programs will be produced in the U.S.

(d) Instructs the Secretary to better coordinate activities between relevant Departmental programs and offices, and other federal agencies.

(e) Instructs the Secretary to avoid duplication of activities to the maximum extent practicable.

(f) Instructs the Secretary inform other agencies of the potential for demonstrating technologies funded by this Act.

(g) Instructs the Secretary to support and utilize State and Local government initiatives in advanced vehicle technology development.

Sec. 102. Sensing and communication technologies--Instructs the Secretary to coordinate with other agencies in the development of sensing, communications, and actuation technologies to better integrate onboard vehicle systems, vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and vehicle-to-electrical grid.

Sec. 103. Manufacturing--Instructs the Secretary to develop advanced vehicle manufacturing technologies and processes that: increase production rates and reduce costs; accommodate different battery chemistries and configurations; reduce waste streams and improve efficiency of manufacturing; recycle and reuse batteries for vehicles and stationary purposes; produce lightweight materials; produce gaseous fuel storage systems; produce hydrogen vehicles and technologies; produce permanent magnets for electric motors.

Sec. 104. User facilities--Allows the Secretary to construct, expand, or modify new or existing facilities for: testing and simulating the integration of various vehicle systems; subjecting vehicles to varying duty cycle and operating conditions; developing battery manufacturing technologies; and developing test cycles for non-petroleum fuels and other technologies.


Sec. 201. Program

(a) Instructs the Secretary to carry out a collaborative commercial and transit vehicle technology development program in partnership with a variety of industry and federal agency partners, and include activities in the areas of: engine efficiency; combustion; waste heat recovery; aerodynamics; rolling resistance; hybridization and electrification; drivetrains; friction and wear reduction; engine idle and parasitic energy loss; sensing and communications; lightweight materials; battery thermal management; recharging infrastructure; modeling and simulation; retrofitting of existing fleets with new technologies; and integration of multiple technologies onto a single platform.

(b) Instructs the Secretary to appoint a full-time director for medium-to-heavy duty truck technology development programs, and specify that responsibilities of that director will include: improving coordination between program partners; convening of events for sharing information and research findings; developing a DOE budget and consulting on budget priorities across agency partners; determining a process for reviewing and revising program goals, targets and timetables; evaluating program activities; and recruiting new industry participants.

(c) Instructs the Secretary to provide a report describing the program activities, partners, and progress, and proposing a strategic plan for the interagency partnership.

Sec. 202. Class 8 truck and trailer systems demonstrations--Instructs the Secretary to conduct a program to demonstrate the integration of multiple advanced technologies on truck and trailer platforms.

Sec. 203. Technology testing and metrics--Instructs the Secretary, in coordination with interagency partners, to develop standard testing procedures and metrics that represent the unique task-specific operating conditions for the range of commercial vehicles.

Sec. 204. Nonroad systems pilot program--Authorizes the Secretary to undertake a pilot program in technology development for non-road equipment (such as construction, agricultural, or industrial mobile equipment) and to transfer relevant research findings between non-road and on-highway sectors

111th Congress