Washington, DC – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced U.S. DRIVE, a cooperative partnership with industry to accelerate the development of clean, advanced, energy-efficient technologies for cars and light trucks and the infrastructure needed to support their widespread use. This partnership is part of DOE’s broad strategy to expand the availability of advanced vehicles to American families to help protect them from future spikes in gas prices and reduce our nation’s reliance on imported oil. Formerly known as the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, U.S. DRIVE – Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability – brings together top technical experts from DOE, the national laboratories, and industry partners to identify critical research and development (R&D) needs, develop technical targets and strategic roadmaps, and evaluate R&D progress on a broad range of advanced vehicle and energy infrastructure technologies.
“Government-industry partnerships like U.S. DRIVE can quicken the pace at which affordable, fuel-efficient vehicles reach and succeed in the commercial market,” said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “By bringing together the best and brightest in government and the automobile, electric utility, and fuels industries, we can develop promising, innovative technologies that move rapidly from the lab into cars on the road, along with the infrastructure to support them.”
Today’s announcement of U.S. DRIVE marks the addition of two new members that bring additional focus on electric-drive vehicle technologies to the partnership. The Electric Power Research Institute and Tesla Motors will join DOE and long-standing industry partners that have renewed their strong commitments to collaborative, pre-competitive R&D.
The full list of U.S. DRIVE partners includes:
- Auto industry – United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (the collaborative research company for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors) and Tesla Motors
- Energy industry – BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Oil Products US
- Electric utility industry – DTE Energy, Southern California Edison, and the Electric Power Research Institute
U.S. DRIVE partners work together on an extensive portfolio of advanced automotive and energy infrastructure technologies, including batteries and electric-drive components, advanced combustion engines, lightweight materials, and fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. By facilitating frequent and detailed technical information exchange among DOE, the national laboratories, and industry partners, U.S. DRIVE will help to accelerate technical achievement as the nation’s top experts identify R&D needs, explore solutions to technical problems, and evaluate R&D progress. It will also help the partners avoid duplicating efforts in government and industry and ensure that publicly funded research delivers high-value results that help overcome key barriers to technology commercialization. Not only will the efforts under the partnership contribute to reducing our nation’s dependence on oil, they will also lower carbon pollution and help to secure U.S. leadership globally in the development of innovative, clean energy technologies for the transportation sector.