This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

November 12, 2002

DOE Refocuses Truck Initiative and Unveils Hydrogen Roadmap

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham made two announcements on November 12th that will help to yield cleaner vehicles and a greater use of hydrogen as an energy carrier.

Secretary Abraham joined representatives from the U.S. departments of Defense and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. trucking industry to announce a new vision for the country's initiative for cleaner trucks, the 21st Century Truck Partnership. The partnership will now aim for a future where U.S. trucks and buses will safely and cost-effectively move larger volumes of freight and greater numbers of passengers while emitting little or no pollution and dramatically reducing their dependence on foreign oil. Among the technologies to be pursued by the partnership are hybrid electric heavy-duty vehicles, supplemental power systems to reduce engine idling, aerodynamic designs, components with lower rolling resistances, and advanced heavy-duty engines and fuels-all while increasing the safety and security of trucks and buses. The partnership's research and development priorities will be reevaluated in light of these goals.

In a separate announcement, Secretary Abraham unveiled the National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap, which identifies the challenges and paths forward to a future energy system that is centered on the use of hydrogen. The new roadmap-the result of a 12-month collaborative process-outlines the research, development, demonstration, codes and standards, and education efforts necessary to lead the nation to a clean and sustainable energy future based on hydrogen.

See the DOE press release and Secretary Abraham's speeches on the truck partnership and the hydrogen roadmap, or go straight to the National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap on the EREN Web site.

Secretary Abraham's speech on hydrogen energy was presented to the Global Forum on Personal Transportation, held in Dearborn, Michigan, and hosted by DOE. The State of Michigan's NextEnergy Initiative also provided support for the forum. The forum was timed perfectly, since the public act to establish the state's NextEnergy Authority was just approved in mid-October. Michigan Governor John Engler signed Senate Bill 1316 into law on October 17th, thereby creating a new state authority that will encourage the development of alternative energy technologies and businesses within the state. Six bills were introduced to both houses of the Michigan legislature in May to support the governor's NextEnergy Initiative; of those, only two bills have stalled, both of which are related to tax breaks for vehicles. See the May NextEnergy announcement, which includes links to all of the bills, or go directly to Senate Bill 1316 (PDF 38 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.