Developing and Deploying Advanced Transportation Technologies
(Climate Action Plan, p. 8.)
- Cleaner Transportation Fuels. The Administration is to leverage public-private partnerships to deploy cleaner fuels for every transportation mode, including advanced batteries and fuel cells.
- Alternative Marine Fuels. In the coming months, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is to work with other agencies to explore strategies for integrating alternative-fuel vessels into the U.S. flag fleet.
- Improved Transportation Options. The Administration is to continue working with states, cities, and towns, through DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to improve transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.
Implementation, Progress, and Outcomes
March 4, 2014: President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, which includes more than $700 million for DOE investments in cutting-edge sustainable transportation technologies to make advanced vehicles and domestic renewable fuels more affordable and convenient. (See Opportunity for All: Building a Clean Energy Economy, Improving Energy Security, and Taking Action on Climate Change 2.)
Cleaner Transportation Fuels
Existing public-private partnerships to develop advanced batteries and fuel cells include the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) at the Argonne National Laboratory (a Department of Energy (DOE) “hub”) and the Battery Innovation Center (BIC) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Indiana. In May 2013, DOE launched H2USA, a public-private partnership to advance hydrogen infrastructure for transportation energy, including fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The growing list of partners includes the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel-cell industries. The partnership will explore strategies to coordinate vehicle and infrastructure rollout, to encourage early adoption of FCEVs, and to find synergies with other alternative fuels such as natural gas that can produce cost reductions and economies of scale. (See News Release, NREL, NREL Joins Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure (July 2, 2013); News Release, DOE, Energy Department Launches Public-Private Partnership to Deploy Hydrogen Infrastructure (May 13, 2013).)
Alternative Marine Fuels
2010: DOT’s Marine Administration (MARAD) launched an initiative on marine application of alternative fuels. Its Office of Environment has since been studying the potential use of liquid natural gas, biodiesel, and other alternative fuels as part of its Environmental Technology Assistance Initiative. In partnership with the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin, MARAD is studying the use of liquid natural gas on the Great Lakes. MARAD also leads a multiagency cooperative effort to test renewable biofuels on board the school ship The State of Michigan in the Great Lakes. (See Environmental Technology Assistance Initiative, MARAD (last visited Oct. 11, 2013); see also U.S. Maritime Administration, “Alternative Fuel For Marine Application—Final Report” (2012).)
2012: MARAD and DOE began preliminary discussions to explore potential uses of fuel cells in the maritime market, including for vessel auxiliary power (main propulsion appears father away). (See Environmental Technology Assistance Initiative, MARAD (last visited Oct. 11, 2013).)
Improved Transportation Options
June 2013: The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a joint effort of DOT, HUD, and EPA. In June 2013, the Partnership launched the Sustainable Communities Census HotReport, a web-based tool developed with the Bureau of the Census that provides localized information about transportation and other sustainability indicators. In July 2013, the Partnership released version 2.0 of its Smart Location Database, which provides access to information about transit service and dozens of other indicators of location efficiency. Information about most of these indicators is available for every census-block group in the United States. (See Smart Location Database, EPA (last visited Oct. 11, 2013). Other activities during summer 2013 included a webinar series and regional roundtables. (See About Us—Achievements, P’ship for Sustainable Communities (last visited Oct. 11, 2013).
January 9, 2014: DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that it was making $24.9 million in grant money available to transit agencies for expanding their use of nonpolluting transit buses. The grants will be made through FTA’s new Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program, or LoNo, a program created by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). FTA will award the funds on a competitive basis to transit agencies and state transportation departments, alone or in partnership with U.S. bus manufacturers who are already building low- and zero-emission buses. (News Release, FTA, U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Availability of $24.9 million to Put More Zero-Emission Buses into Service Across America (Jan. 9, 2014).) Additional details about the LoNo program and grant-application information are available in the Notice for Request for Proposals. (See FTA, “FY13 Discretionary Funding Opportunity: Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo) Program [sic],” 79 Fed. Reg. 1,668 (Jan. 9, 2014).)
This page was last updated on March 10, 2014.