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tv   Energy Technology Auto Industry  CSPAN3  January 29, 2018 10:16am-12:05pm EST

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car. watch the communicators tonight on cspan2. the president of the united states. >> tuesday, presumptive will give his first state of the union address to a joint session of congress. our coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. then the state of the union speech live at 9:00 p.m. it'll be followed by the state of the union address itself at 9:00 and following the speech will take your phone calls and also get reaction from members of congress. president trump's state of the union address tuesday live on cspan. listen live on the free cspan radio app and on your phone, desktop or tablet at thursday, senate energy and natural resources committee had a field hearing at the 2018 washington auto show to examine
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ways vehicles can become more energy efficient. representatives from general motors, toyota and center for automotive research.
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the committee will come to order. a little unusual to be here at the convention center for an energy hearing, but i think it is certainly appropriate given the subject matter that we have today. i certainly didn't mind the short commute over here. but it is a great setting to be at the auto show surrounded by the latest and greatest the auto
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industry has to offer. i am joined this morning by senator stabenow from the great state of michigan. she tells me while the washington auto show is good, the detroit auto show is great. that might be the rlocale next year on the same subject. i appreciate you sitting in for senator can'twell. i understand senator manchin will be with us, but i want to thank the city of washington and the national auto dealers association that puts on the show every year for helping us coordinate the hearing.
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the host of technologies that have emerged, lightweight materials like carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum boost efficiency and performance. at the same time, advance manufacturing technologies like 3d printing are decreasing time and cost of bringing new concepts to market. lithium battery prices are falling, new generation of batteries is powering today's electric vehicles like chevy bolt and tesla model 3. meanwhile, sales and consumer adoption increased for other alternative fuel vehicles, including hydrogen powered toyota. while technologies are changing,
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so too are policies in many countries across the map. in the past year, a number of nations issued new targets, mandates and regulations. india, for instance, banned petroleum powered vehicles by 2030. france has made that same commitment by 2040. china which has the world's largest automotive market mandated 10% of vehicles sold by an automaker be electric by the year 2019 with annual target increases after that. here in the united states, i think we'll do what we do best, probably better than anyone in the world, and that's innovate. i am particularly interested in hearing from witnesses about the status of their efforts, whether at private companies or national laboratories and how research across the technology readiness spectrum can be brought to market. as we think about new automotive technologies, i think it is important to ensure federal policies are modern, that
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they're neutral, and working as intended. we also need to make this a holistic determination i was mentioning as we gathered in back before this that in alaska in juneau provides renewable power by way of five hydroelectric plants, and is engaged in a successful demand response program to incentivize charging at specific times during the day. these efforts cut costs and emissions. the results we see in juneau, one new registration a week, in a smaller community, that's about 35,000 people there in our
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capital, that's meaningful. and kind of exciting. many remote communities are completely disconnected from traditional grid yet we are innovating, bringing resources together to decrease costs in rural areas. last year we were in cordoba, a fishing village in south central alaska, not connected by road to anywhere else, not a transition grid but electric grid, and focused on hybrid microgrids. now they're working with national labs, with university of alaska and industry to test. one of the next steps is ev chargers and how it can benefit
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the grid. we are testing applications even in furthest north of the country. this morning, i am happy to welcome a distinguished panel of witnesses to tell us about the new vehicle technologies. we have representation from across the automotive sector. we have considerable opportunities in front of us but also a lot of work to realize them, moving the most promising concepts from the lab bench top to dealership lot and out onto the road, or whether it is addressing lesser recognized challenges like mineral security we can't allow it to worsen as advance vehicle technologies are increasingly adopted. thank witnesses in advance for being here this morning, all who helped make that hearing
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possible. i will turn to senator stabenow for any comments thank you for holding the field hearing. i appreciate your focus on this exciting area of automation and transportation and nursing energy. look fooshd to having you in detroit. would welcome you there as well. i want to thank all of the witnesses. i have to tell you i am very proud of our five witnesses. three are from michigan. there's good reason for that. i want to welcome all of you, particularly greta gross, director of advance vehicle commercialization policy for general motors and carla bailow
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from ann arbor, we thank all of you. and for the witnesses not from michigan, you're welcome to move to michigan. we would love to have you. i often said michigan's workers can outbuild, outinnovate, outimagine anyone. and we are proud of that. a lot of the building, innovating, imagining is centering around automobiles and transportation. that's been true for 100 years or more. one out of five vehicles manufactured is manufactured in michigan. the auto related jobs account for one out of five out of the total work force. but this isn't -- we used to say this isn't your father's
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oldsmobile. i grew up on an oldsmobile car lot in northern michigan, but we don't do oldsmobiles any more, but i will say it is also not your grandfather's chevy or ford. we know that mobility and transition is rapidly evolving, more than we even realize, things are moving quickly here in the united states and around the globe. that's why we are proud to be the home in michigan of the american center for mobility, focusing on all these issues. from the emergence of new engines powered by electricity or hydrogen rather than oil, did you buy one, joe? >> still negotiating.
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>> all right. to new lightweight materials and designs to rapidly evolving autonomous technologies, these breakthroughs will change the way we take kids to school, go to work. get products we make to market. they have the potential to dramatically improve safety and cut the amount of carbon we are emitting. however, we know that leadership isn't a given. if the united states doesn't continue to invest in new automotive technologies, we will be left in a cloud of dust while the rest of the world speeds ahead of us. we can't let that happen. we need strong partnerships between industry and our scientists at the department of energy and research institutions and all of us together. that's why i appreciate the chair's support for the bipartisan vehicle innovation act that senator peters and senator alexander and i
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introduced in the past. reintroduced, part of the energy bill on the floor of the senate which i strongly support moving forward on. i want to thank you for that. i look forward to hearing from our partners today about the new research, new technologies, new approaches that are driving us forward. thank you. >> i have opportunity to engage in fascinating discussion as we have hearings before the energy committee. some of the subjects we deal with are the most captivating of our time. my husband and i raised two sons, in their mid to early 20s right now. they look at their mother's job sometimes with oh gosh, how do you sit through all that. this is one hearing they actually say she's got a pretty good job. senator manchin, would you care
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to make opening comments before we turn to witnesses? >> thank you. i want to thank you for setting this up, most appropriate place to be and for the ranking member from detroit city. >> that's right. >> i am no gear head, i am a little late because i was admiring all of the new products. i owned everything from general motors to ford to chrysler to toyota. if you make it, i'll buy it. i appreciate it. y'all are so lucky to be in this industry. you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life. i want to thank the committee for hosting, talk about western university, my alma-mater competing in advance vehicle technology competition since 1988, beginning with the methanol marathon.
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it is one of the 16 universities chosen to compete in the latest advance technology challenge, eco car 3. we have 60 undergraduate, graduate and ph.d. students working on this project, multi year project will take a chevy camaro that reduces viermtdal impact with improved performance. i did an interview that was going back to the buffalo plant in west virginia where they make the drive train. the engine, four cylinder engine, 25 years ago, and the whole thing about the evolution of the toyota plant in west virginia, dr. toyota, i met him when i was governor, had gone to japan with then senator
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rockefeller. he said against all of the advice of high powered engineers, do not put an engine plant there. he was determined to do it. he p it there, not only has that become a success, it is a model for toyota manufacturing. and it is now grown into some of the most sophisticated engines in the world made there, then they went to drive trains. i stand by highlander, want you to see this beautiful. without west virginia labor, it wouldn't move. it would not move without the engine and drive train you made for it. i was very proud of that. we are proud of the buffalo plant and manufacturers of engines and transmissions. toyota employs 1900 workers in west virginia, 1300 in the plant, and 613 toyota dealerships across the state.
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investment by toyota motor manufacturing through west virginia totals more than 1.2 billion, producing over 697,000 engines, 537,000 transmissions. toyota also supports 900 jobs at automotive suppliers. their contribution to the economy and i want to thank all of you from toyota for what you have enabled us to do and help the people in west virginia. i look forward to working with all of you, and all of the industry. it is very important. so goes the auto industry, so goes us. we don't move without you. we are proud to be here. look forward to warping untpart. all three of us rather be here than on the hill. >> we will turn to our witnesses. i will introduce each of you. go down the line, beginning with dr. kalil.
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try to keep comments to five minutes. full statements will be included as part of the record. that will allow plenty of opportunity for inquiry, provide for questions and answers and hopefully good dialogue this morning. we appreciate the good work from many labs around the country. good to have you this morning. carla bilo at the center for automotive research, already acknowledged by senator stabenow. nice to meet you. dr. mihi, director for technology planning april fairs at et on vehicle group.
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nice to have you with us. and mr. robert winger, director for energy and environmental research with toyota. good to have the full panel with us. doctor kalil, if you would like to start off this morning, and we welcome you. >> thank you senator. chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today with this distinguished panel. today i want to discuss the challenges and opportunities we see in the nation's transiti transportation sector. the introduction of autonomous vehicles is revolutionizing transportation. smooth transition to the future
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requires scientific innovations chltd we work with the industry and other partners for breakthroughs for most efficient and cleanest forms of transportation. our staff able to innovate in the area of safer, high energy density vehicle batteries. we increased battery energy content by lowering the cost by a factor of five. we have engines with low emissions and high efficiency. electric motor, made with low cost, generates significantly more power than the electric motor that uses rare earth elements that we use today. it was at the national transportation research center,
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doe's only transition facility we developed the first charging system capable of transferring 34 kilowatt of energy. we're on the way to delivering 100 kilowatt system. bidirectional wireless charging makes recharging easier while ensuring that an electrified transportation system is a benefit, not a burden to the power grid. demonstrates how a hybrid electric vehicle can wirelessly transfer power to and from a home generating energy using solar panels. the benefit is energy reliability for the homeowner, more flexibility for the electric grid operator, ability to use vehicle battery for energy storage. super computers specially titan
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and summit, resources are leveraged for the behavior of advanced vehicle and engine systems. these resources, including next generation super computer funded by office of science expected to be the world's most powerful when it comes online this year, enabling artificial intelligence systems needed to control and integrate autonomous and connected vehicles. even as we look to the future of electrified vehicles, the internal combustion engine is the workhorse of the transportation sector. other national labs are leading the initiative focus on combining fuels and combustion research to maximize fuel economy and performance. the labs are researching breakthroughs for vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells, focus on lowering cost, improving on board storage, and supporting hydrogen
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infrastructure through scale program. we are also using capabilities of manufacturing demonstration facility and carbon fiber technology facility to come up with breakthroughs in low cost carbon fibers, composite materials and 3d printing of tools and dyes for faster production methods to improve global competitiveness of american automakers. partners are crucial to sharpen research activities and efforts of national labs, guiding the way to the most impactful scientific results for real world success. we are co-founder of the institute for advanced composite manufacturing innovation. bringing together over 160 members from private and public sector to move carbon and other fiber composites into the automotive market. last month, we joined 19 other
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private companies and universities and state agencies in a new initiative to accelerate development. in conclusion, we and other labs are ready to work with public and private partners to demonstrate breakthroughs in science and bring them to the road. i thank you again for the opportunity to provide this briefing and look forward to questions. >> thank you, dr. kalil. >> miss bilo. welcome. >> thank you very much. i would like to thank chairman murkowski and senator stabenow, senator manchin for the opportunity to address you. i am president and ceo for the center for automotive research in ann arbor, michigan. we are nonprofit, independent,
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unbiased research facility that brings together stakeholders for discussions and really trying to solve and do the research for some of the issues facing the automotive industry. for a little bit of a personal background, i was born and raised in michigan. i have cars in my blood. and i had 35 years in the automotive industry, prior to two-and-a-half years in academia where i led smart mobility and smart city research, now am fully into nonprofit research side of the business. when we look at the automotive industry today, it's really in a critical period of disruption. on one side, sales are booming. even though we had a slight drop off in the past fiscal year, and we're seeing high profit models, suvs, crossovers, full size pickup trucks providing profitability at levels we haven't seen in some time. on the other side, there's a
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strong need for technology and power trains and electrification, combined with autonomous connected vehicle technology that are stretching the limits in terms of talent and dollars. really, in order to provide the vast array of technologies required to meet the global standards, because our automakers are global for co2, et cetera, portfolios required are diverse and challenging. to remain competitive, the automakers must comply with all of the regulatory environments, including those that are most aggressive globally. we've seen nearly all of the automakers announcing electrification goals. it runs the gamut from start stop technologies through full electrification. the dichotomy that exists today, we talked about this before the panel began, we can't make customers buy what they don't
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want, and our research indicates today that the internal combustion engine will still comprise 90% of vehicle volume by 2030, and over 95% for north america in 2025. the good news is that battery technology is continuing to get better, quickly driving costs down, improving the range. it's difficult to predict, but if this continues, the proliferation throughout the marketplace could increase significantly. throughout the u.s. the percentage of electric vehicles varies greatly, depending on the infrastructure and the initiatives. on a global level, we see a similar trend. the main draw back we hear about purchasing an electric vehicle is range and lacking of charging infrastructure going along with that, as well as purchase cost.
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although if we look at the pure economics, total cost of ownership, serviceability and refueling the product, it will break even in a certain amount of time, so a lot has to do with informing the customers of true facts of ev ownership. we can solve a lot of the issues through technology, supply, demand, and clarity on the charging infrastructure which also includes the hydrogen infrastructure. i would be remiss if i did not mention that the electric used to supply the ev power must be from a renewable source. ev is utilizing coal power and electricity have a bigger carbon i am print than the internal combustion engine. the last point is about technology, leadership, talent. this is a strong passion of mine. really if the u.s. wants to continue leadership in the electrification race, we need to
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be a hub for this kind of development in the automotive industry. the countries who create the high standards will drive the innovation and grow the talent. and we would really like for that to be in the u.s. thank you nor your time. >> thank you. >> welcome. >> good morning. chairman murkowski, senators stabenow, manchin, thank you for the opportunity to testify in front of your committee. the industry is in a period of rapid change and it is enabled by automation -- this committee identified trenlds ds as we mov the next generation of passenger vehicles. eton is a leading tier one supplier with 20,000 associates, more than 110 facilities across the united states and our vehicle group employs nearly
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3,000 associates in manufacturing, research and development in georgia, indiana, nebraska, north carolina, and michigan. as an independent supplier, the innovations incorporate a large number of vehicles, improvements in the u.s. and worldwide. regulatory pressure, technology innovation and customer expectations are driving the adoption of clean, intelligent products, creating exceptional growth opportunities for well positioned companies. at the vehicle level, need to simultaneously reduce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions is driving advances inco income -- in combustion engines. connectivity, embedded electronic controls enable step
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changes. even recognized early that vehicle sector was on trajectory of increased co2 emissions and petroleum based fuel burn. we positioned the r&d portfolio to address vehicle energy efficiency along with the following three directions. first, improve the efficiency, conventional and electrical, and efficiently distribute that power from its creation to the wheels. and finally to optimize use of that power in an increasingly diversified set of needs. over a decade, we worked closely with several government agencies that are pursuing advanced energy use in vehicles. public, private collaborations with national labs like oak ridge in tennessee or national renewable energy lab in colorado accelerate innovation and promote competitiveness. eaton benefits from access to
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leading edge talent and capabilities such as high performance computing or vehicle testing equipment as well as competitive results. at the same time, we contribute expertise, research direction for materials and funding. the result is working together we create, demonstrate new technologies and state of the art and enhance competitiveness. we work closely with department of energy through vehicle technologies office and advanced manufacturing program. in partnership with doe, successfully developed fundamentalals of technologies that are essential elements of products. from perspective of the vehicle programs at the doe, these play a vital role maintaining u.s. technology leadership in global markets. and especially important is the public, private partnership
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model. these partnerships accelerate innovation in several ways. they foster collaboration across the industry in ways not easily achieved with several commercial entities acting independently, thus we create new opportunities and new product. they technologies and enable product development invests that otherwise could not be made in what is essentially a conservative industry. the vehicle programs at the department of industry and
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national labs are key at all levels of the supply chain. the public/private partnership model is proving effective in guiding investments in areas that have high impact, too early, too broad or too unproven for industry to improve alone. it is essential the investments are balanced between fundamental research and funding technology programs. in my experience, it is easy to recognize fundamental science. that's typically the domain of public investment. it is also easy to recognize new product development, which is typically the industry's job. however, the transition between these two areas is noncritical. it is at this juncture that public/private partner shers sh most effective. in closing, i would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify. as we can see, the industry is moving forward at a rapid pace. we applaud your efforts to
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understand the emerging trends and support american innovation in the field. thank you. >> nang you, dthank you, dr dr. dorobantu. my name is britta gross and i am general motors director of advanced communication policy. i want to thank chairman murkowski, senator stabenow and senator manchin for inviting me here today. if i may 1st offer a perspective about how quickly the world is changing, in 2010, when general motors introduced the plug-in chevrolet volt, we were one of the first experiences with the plug-in vehicle. however, last year, americans purchased nearly 200,000 electrified vehicles, including battery electrics, plug-in hybrid electrics and field cell electric vehicles from more nthn a dozen manufacturers.
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our own accounted for nearly one quarter of those vehicles. while this sounds like an incredible growth in electric vehicle interests, it is nothing compared to what is quomincomin. our future believe in zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, this represents the convergence of our work in connectivity, electric vehicles and car sharing in an effort to move humanity forward. as part of that vision, we move to a zero emission world. as electric vehicles become cheaper and batteries improve on performance and price, and as manufacturer's reach scale, we will see exceptional growth. electric vehicles bring many
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opportunities. they are cleaner and quieter and fun to drive thanks to the instant torque they provide. because of electric vehicles, general motors is making major financial investments in manufacturing and research and development facilities here in the united states. we are innovating and increasing hiring in areas like computer science and software science. with the benefits, there are challenges. consumer acceptance has increased but we have a long way to go. i want to focus on two areas your committee could help stain growth, consumer adoption and aiding with charging infrastructure buildout. the tax credit has been an important incentive and responsible for helping to fuel e.v. adoption. we appreciate the senate's role in keeping this incentive in
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place as tax reform passed last year. this federal incentive sends a particularly powerful signal about the importance of vehicle le electric. we need to continue to strengthen this policy signal the most. it is a valuable tool to allow consumers greater access e.v.s. we have a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for the future. mass adoption of electric vehicles represents a large, smart, and flexible load that is unlike any other load on the electric grid. if we do this right and if we plan for smart charging of e.v.s, late at night and in the early morning hours, e.v.s can act as storage devices that make use of power plants at night and lead to a more balanced grid load. all the benefits to the grid can't happen until the united states reaches true scale with e.v.s. we need e.v. charging stations
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that are highly visible to consumers and drive consumer confidence in the ability to drive e.v.s anywhere at any time. e.v. charging infrastructure today has grown from nonexistent to over 17,000 public stations. more is required. this market will become more viable and competitive over time. we have a long way to go. this early market currently requires continued partnership between electric utilities, station operators and vehicle manufacturers and support by federal, state and municipal governments to establish charging stations at the same scale at the 168,000 gas stations across the country. i would like to thank the committee for their support for the vehicle innovation act. bipartisan legislation introduced by senators stabenow, alexander and peters, that would support the development of new technologies including electric vehicle charging. this is important legislation we hope the congress will pass this
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year. e.v. infrastructure is an imperative for other innovative and advanced mobility solutions such as car sharing, ride hailing and self-driving vehicles. with the speed with which it gross will determine the future of mobility in the united states and set the stage for more advanced transportation technologies. leading in these technologies here in the united states means we can take these technologies to global markets and necessary good for all of us. thank you for your time today. i look forward to answering any questions the committee members might have. >> thank you, miss gross. mr. wimmer, welcome. >> chairman murkowski, senator stabenow, senator manchin, and members of the committee, toyota appreciates the opportunity to testify before the committee today on energy innovation in automotive technology. toyota believes there is no one solution to addressing our energy and environmental challenge. that's why we are developing a
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portfolio from advanced gasoline and diesel engines to more efficient transmissions and lighter weight materials and hybrid plug-in drive systems and zero admission battery fuel sell vehicles. it is our hydrogen fuel cell technology i am pleased to discuss today. they are not new. they were developed in the 1800s and provided electricity for our apollo and space shuttle astronauts. any combine hydrogen gas stored in on-board carbon fiber tanks with oxygen from the air to produce electricity that powers the vehicle. a fuel cell vehicle's only emission is a small amount of water vapor from the tailpipe. for toyota, hydrogen vehicles are an integral part of our zero emission vehicle strategy which differentiates fuel se differentiates fuel cell vehicles is their long-driving
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range, typically, to refuel under five minutes and scale ability of fuel cell system to virtually any size vehicle. toyota believes retaining key attributes allows them to appeal to the broadest buyers and leads to greater emission vehicle sales. they introduced their first retail fuel sell vehicle, the murai, in 2015. over 3,000 have been sold in california and over 5,000 globally. it has an epa estimated range of 312 miles on a tank of hydrogen and a fuel economy rating of 67 miles per gasoline equivalent. scape ability is an important aspect, like added more cells to a fuel cell stack creaincrease. this makes them perfect for suvs and trucks, which accounted for
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over 65% of new vehicle sales in the u.s. in 2017. scaling the technology further, toyota has developed fuel cell system for transit buses and tractor trailers. we recently announce toyota will build 100 second-generation fuel cell buses for athlete transport during the 2020 tokyo olympics. in the u.s., we have began testing a proof of concept dry tractor-trailer hauling cargo containers from los angeles and long beach to local destinations and rail yards. this tractor-trailer has a range of 200 miles per tank and has a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pound. if successful, fuel krcell truc could provide an opportunity to eliminate emissions and noise from often mile polluted and underprivileged port areas. a great advantage of hydrogen is its ability to be produced in a variety of ways from different fuels. toyota will demonstrate one approach with the world's first megawatt scale carbonate fuel
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cell power generation plant and hydrogen fuel that we are building at the port of long beach. it will use renewable biowaste to generate water, electricity and hydrogen. toyota believes the greatest challenge is not vehicle price nor consumer acceptance but hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. california is the leader in fre infrastructure in the u.s. to date, there are 31 fueling stations open to the public with potentially another 12 expected to open this year. while impressive, other countries with strong federal policy and financial support are outpacing california. there are 91 operational hydrogen stations in japan, 44 in germany and 20 in korea. to ensure the u.s. remains competitive in the emerging hydrogen economy, the federal government needs to take a more proactive approach to growing both hydrogen infrastructure and
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fuel cell vehicle sells. they want to recognize the department of energy for support of research, development and commercialization. their investment of over $1 billion for r&d has accelerated commercialization to the benefit of all. the on going engagement with state and regional authorities to address technical questions relating to tunnels and bridges and to alleviate any concern has been highly beneficial. d.o.e.'s continued support is critical to eliminate regulatory barriers that will slow the role of technology. we believe that a portfolio advance technology of highly efficient engines and range of options will meet the needs with longer range and ability to refuel quickly and scale ability, we believe that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can
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fulfill many of those needs. we appreciate the opportunity to testify before the committee and would be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, mr. wimmer. i was just sitting here thinking, i can't remember what year it was that president bush in his state of the union made the statement that a child that was born that year when he turned 16, they would be driving a hybrid-powered vehicle. we are now in 2018. get moving. very interesting updates from each of you. i appreciate that. the focus on the innovation and the advancements that we have made, how we can move to not only higher safety standards, greatly decreased emissions. i see some in the audience here.
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the moms from the clean air force focusing on how we can do a better job, an important job of reducing emissions when it comes to our transportation plate. thank you for what we have heard today here in the nation's capital and up on the hill. there is a lot of discussion about infrastructure and what an infrastructure package might look like that we could work to advance. i would be curious to know. several of you have hit upon it. mr. wimmer, you spoke to the need for infrastructure as it relates to hydrogen stations. miss gross, you spoke to the need tofor charging stations fo e.v.s. what else is out there in terms
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of energy-related infrastructure challenges that we are seeing right now with regards to advanced vehicle technologies? if we are putting together a package that could help advance these technologies and start making a difference, what else is out there other than charging stations? you can at pli p you can amplify if you want. i would be curious to hear from each one of you. let's begin with dr. quelly. >> charging stations would be needed and other infrastructure for producing hydrogen will be need. a lot depend on electricity from the main grid or a micro grid. i think the big thing we really need is to make sure our electrical grid is resilient and reliable through the
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introduction of things like micro grids and also energy storage in various ways. that would be the backbone to all of the items you discussed there. >> very important. miss bailo. >> i fully support the need for charging stations and hydrogen. hydrogen and fuel cells are one of the power trains that will have the greatest impact on full-size trucks and/or commercial vehicles. with the burgeoning ecommerce load we are seeing today, it makes a lot of sense to propel that technology. when we think about the burden that it will have on the grid, to reinforce it, microgrids are very essential. we need to start trialing those in areas areas and look at grid balance and the appropriate positioning of where we put those charging stations. it may not be equally
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distributed. you have to look at demographics of usage. we also need to get the private sector involved. companies have to put in charging stations for their employees. all new multi-unit dwellings, all new homes should at least have a charging station plumed in as part of its code the same as you would for a dryer today. it should be there and ready. it doesn't mean you need to put the expense of a charging station but it is easier to do it in the beginning than in the end. we also need to focus, as i mentioned, before renewables, making sure we have a clean energy supply coming into that grid. >> i'll reinforce the point about the electrical grid, specially the electrical grid modernization. we have a number of issues, challenges facing us in the form of grid stability.
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incorporating renewables. people talked about microgrids and that is a significant change to our infrastructure. also, things like smart grid management in the overall control and distribution ge geography of the grid. >> i echo everything carla talked about, the public and work place charging and the building codes that would ensure that housing, single family homes, multi-dwelling homes, everything is building in a code that will require a simple dedicated circuit so it is ready to charge a vehicle when you move into the home. i think that's really important. beyond that, i would say one thing that's really tough right now in this early market, and why there is a lack of
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investment in e.v. infrastructure is that it is a really tough business case. there isn't the scale or the utilization of these stations. business cases are very, very tough, which means there is not that competition and not the investment. one of the likely parties that you can turn to is the utility industry. they are experts at deploying electric systems, at maintaining, app preliability. if you look at the 3,000 utilities in this country and the 50 state regulators, you start to recognize, there is nothing that knits them together so that the infrastructure they put in is adapted to the utility next door so we end up with assemblage of some national strategy. coordinating the utility industry to participate together is really important. maybe i will sort of just touch on the smart charging area of vehicles. it is really important to take advantage of this big load
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coming, and do it right by smart charging. charge the vehicles in the early morning hours when there is low, when the wind is blowing or in the daytime at work when the sun is shining and there is access, electricity on the grid. utilities being prepared today with apis on their front end to talk to telemattelematic, they talk to the system and say would you like to use this and drop your rate a couple of pen ninie. those forward-looking system views of what the utility's role is in e.v. infrastructure and the smart charging is going to be really powerful going forward. >> five words, mr. wenner.
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>> i agree on what the other panel members said but from hydrogen, we need some standardized codes and standards from the different cities and states. in california, it has been fairly straightforward. we are dealing with primarily one entity. in the northeast, you are dealing with each individual state and each individual city and there air regulatory proces very different, an involved education process the industry has to do with each regulator. the hydrogen production, as i mentioned, we are looking at one unique approach to hydrogen production. there are many other ways. one is d.o.e.'s approach of looking at using excess renewable or grid energy to produce it in a clean and efficient way, to be able to look at other options for hydrogen production and transport to the stations would be helpful.
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>> thank you all very much. very helpful. senator stabenow. >> well, madam chair, senator manchin has indicated he will have to leave shortly. he has to go buy a car. i will yield to him and then i will reclaim my time after. thank you. >> i wish. let me just say, first of all, thank you all for your presentation. i want to remind everybody that 76% of all the electricity produced in america comes from coal and natural gas. in west virginia, they are proud to produce 76% of your energy. we are an all-in energy state. water, hydro, solar, wind. we love it all. the fact is, if you want 24 scl24/7 reliability, you have to go with base load. don't ever forget that. we are still trying to move to the new technologies. you have to remember what has us at the dance right now. i understand a major challenge
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of the greater manufacturing. this is from the manufacturing. adoption of electric vehicles is access to critical minerals also known as rare earth minerals or rare earth elements. china's monopoly in this space is concerning, extremely concerning to me. both the economic and national security perspectives. this committee examined the issue last year and we continue to have discussions around how to ensure the u.s. consumers and manufacturers have access to these materials, including the recreation of a domestic supply chain. i find it interesting that the largest global adopter of electric vehicles in 2016 was china at 40% of global demand. in light of the use of critical minerals and lithium eye ion batteries and other components, how concerned are you about access to critical minerals? it could be shut down at any time. you could be choked off at any
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time. we need you to engage. i have three people that i know can speak to this. everybody can. on top of that, i needed to finish up on that. the rare earth elements, so you will know, we don't mind any rare earth element ns ts in the united states of america at all. we don't produce one ounce anymore. we are relying on another foreign country to produce where you all might want to go and the american consumer. you have to be realistic. we are not prepared to do it. you are putting billions and billions of dollars in investment that could shut you down overnight. again, my little state of west virginia, we have a lot of rare earth minerals that come from the mining of the coal, even from some of our waste. we are trying to contain for the climate, which is our mine drainage. we can produce and we are working on that, 45,000 tons per
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year, 45,000 tons per year of rare earth elements just from the waste and the mining of what we do for the country. it is going to take an investment from the department of energy working with us, and we have our friends here with the department of energy. i am glad they are here. we want to make sure that you are all aware of that. we are going to need your help. if you could tell me how this could affect you. >> yes, sir, mr. khaleel. >> a few points. on coal, one should look at coal to products. one of these products is rare earth. there are a lot of other things one can do with coal. you can produce carbon fiber. >> we do. >> when it comes to rare earth, we need also to look at substitutes, other substitutes. for example, making magnets without any rare earth. there is an initiative funded by the department of energy and actually the national energy technology lab is part of that
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called the critical material institute. it is led by ames national lab. we have been able to produce electric motors with no rare earth elements in them with much higher efficiency than existing. >> are you doing it on a commercial scale or just basically in the production? >> i think they can move into that easy. >> into commercial. >> the other thing is when it comes to batteries, there are a lot of critical elements, like lithium, manganese, cobalt. we in the united states don't have the production of lithium. we have the resources in north carolina. >> we don't mine any of it. >> right. i think that's a challenge. we get it from chile. >> are you all concerned about your supply chain because of our trade differences or our trade
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disagreements that you could be harmed if something happens to our relationships? >> i could speak from the research point of view. i think we need to invest in the research and the innovation to make sure we can produce things at cost. >> so right now you are saying you are not kerpconcerned at al? >> no, i am. >> that's all i need to know. who would like to speak next? all of you can respond to this. i'm sorry. >> as a large manufacturer of batteries, clearly any interruption in our supply chain of critical materials, we would be concerned with. >> that's part of your strategic planning and thinking? >> exactly. we are looking at, as was mentioned by my colleague of technologies and materials that can substitute in our electronics, our motors, our batteries or diversification. for example, our hybrid
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batteries, most are nickel metal with a few of lithium ion. with diversification, if there is a shortage in one type of material, it might not affect all of our vehicles. it is a concern but the diversification is helpful. >> most of your products as far as your product to manufacture, does that come from china? >> i don't have that information. we can get back to you on that. >> we know you are, because they have most of that. we knew the answer before we asked you. they have the global control, energy and elements. >> i'm sorry, mrs. bailo? >> most of the automakers fundamentally have a diversification of supply. as much as possible, they try to mitigate that risk. if there is only a single source, of course that's a risk that has to be tackled. what each company does is hedge that and look at the costs associated with that.
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when we look at what's happening globally for the cost of some of those rare earth materials, as well as aluminum and steel, we are seeing significant increases recently. all of that needs to be hedged and put into the future plans and it goes into the design optimization process. the one thing that really needs to be focused on is the reduction of some of those rare earth elements. that can only happen through the technological breakthroughs in research that is required and it needs to be supported, not only within the industry but also within academia. >> what time period are you talking about before this evolution comes to this new alternative, rare earth elements that you don't need anymore. >> we have already seen a significant reduction even in the very basics that exist today in catalytic converters, probably up to 60% has been reduced. again, as we keep finding
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breakthroughs and better chemical equations in the battery technology, that number will continue to come down. if it is ever going to become zero is anybody's guess. the other thing i wanted to add on the coal front is i don't think we can negate the fact that in some coal plants, producing energy, if you put in the right catalytic converters and others, you can have a pretty efficient plant. so we can also look at revamping. >> not when we had an administration that tried to shut us down completely eight years ago. horrible. >> mr. dorobantu? >> eaton is in its vehicle business, not really a player in the battery, on the battery side of the business. so we are not directly affected. i can go back and ask our about our other industries and get back to you. >> thank you. >> just to add, a couple nuances
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from our perspective, yes, we care about the sources. we have teams of people that look around the world and make sure we know how to source these materials. one thing that's of interest, though, is that a lot of these materials are also not just in the automotive in our batteries. they are across all of electronics, laptops, cell phones and so on. it isn't just us tugging on these resources. that's important. what comes back to us is the cost of these materials. more recently, there has been an issue with cobalt prices increases. that just drives prices on our side as well. that's a problem for the price that we can offer these vehicles to the consumer. we do watch that closely. in fact, the important work that's happening when we work from generation one technology, the volt that came out in 2010 and where we are today with generation two and the bolt e.v. in that period, we are trying to streamline our use of those
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materials, trying to reduce the amount of lithium or the amount of cobalt in these systems so that they still operate, are safe and durable and dependable. we can reduce the cost by peeling out and improving the engineering process, the architecture of the system, or the manufacturing process itself and how we apply the materials. we get more and more effective. that's part of a learning process of developing and innovating. >> i want to thank all of you as a panel. you have been extremely professional. >> thank you, senator manchin. no pun intended, but that was a critical question. it's so important to the discussion. we recognize that we have extraordinary opportunities for advances in these technologies, but if we can't safely and reliably and affordably gain access to those base elements that we need to manufacture them, and i appreciate what you have said, miss gross, that this
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is not just in the automotive, as we look to build out many of our renewable energy sources, whether it is wind turbines and the fact that you need to have the coating on the blades and the coating comes from so many of these minerals. it is an issue that i think has finally registered an appropriate level of attention within the government. we have been pushing it for years. we feel like we have a chorus of voices that are saying, hey, yeah, this is really important. let's not forget it. let's go to senator stabenow. >> thanks very much. thank you, again, to all of you. there are so many different kinds of issues that come into play here from infrastructure to rare earth materials to all of the research that needs to be done. i want to start with something a little bit different that goes
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to another need that we have in all of this. miss bailo, you talked about that. that is talent, stretching our talent right now in what's happening. one of my big concerns is that when you look at the big picture, national association of manufacturers says, next seven years we'll create 3.5 million new manufacturing jobs. at the moment, we could fill 1.5 million of them. so as we look at this piece of it as well, not only engineers, not only scientists but skilled trades, people that can do coding, people that are interested in career in technical education, my question would be, and i'll start with miss bailo, because you had mentioned this specifically and you are working with a variety of folks in this context. what are your thoughts on how we look at our educational system
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and best prepare individuals for jobs, not only tomorrow but that are right here, right now and redesigning. i'm working on efforts to support more options in college and redesigning career and technical education and high school and lifting up the privately funded skilled building trades training centers in michigan and other places. i don't know how many times somebody has said to me in a manufacturing operation, just give me a skilled welder, an electrician that can do the pieces that need to be done. so what should we be doing in that space? >> thank you. i mentioned it is a passion of mine. i will try to not talk for a long, long time. i think we have to look at the entire chain of education and think of ourselves as a lifelong learning industry and country,
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starting with even very young children and their education to begin to enlighten them into new ways of thinking, innovative ways of thinking. a different mind-set is needed in today's industry than existed before. starting there, working your way up through, i think we need to eliminate the notion that every person needs to go to a four-year institution. some people are honestly better skilled and will enjoy quality of life and get rewards from what they love to do. you need to follow your passion. we need to provide students that show that aptitude a place. it doesn't have to be four years. we need to provide also opportunities for
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apprenticeships, internships and starting in high school to build that passion. we need the skilled trades not only to manufacture the products but to work on the infrastructure we need for connected autonomous vehicles to do the coding, et cetera. the other piece of the puzzle i believe is in the four-year institutions today. we are teaching children to think vertically, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering. in today's world, you need to be a systematic thinker. how we can start thinking about new ways to manage education, supplanting the standards of education that we require today with certification programs. we have a great example of udacity, which is entering the university space that basically says we are going to guarantee you a job. it is a very low price you have to pay around $2000, 18 months. you have a certificate.
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you get a job immediately. if that job becomes obsolete or changes, you go get another certificate. there are a number of things we can think about to enable that lifelong learning. the other part is, with technology eclipsing so rapidly, if we are not continually teaching and training our existing workforces, then they will also become obsolete. it has to be a lifelong learning way of doing business. >> thank you. i believe that strongly. i think this is a major issue for us. we will develop new technologies and not have the talent, the skilled people that we need for that. anyone else want to comment on that, briefly? >> yes. >> the technology on the workforce is clearly significant as you mentioned. it is really an issue. toyota has been working on it and to some extent struggling for a while. universities have a role to play but so does industry.
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technology is moving so quickly these days that there needs to be a lot of work -- we must work together with universities to develop programs that ultimately help provide the skills and the training for both university graduates in engineering fields as well as the technicians to come right to work and to the work place. we are currently partnering with over 50 community colleges and other institutions to train the technicians for our dealers, for our manufacturing facilities that can come in and work on tools, to prepare them for life in the industry. we are also working to promote s.t.e.m. at a variety of k-12, focusing on technical career pat paths as well as university career paths. i would like to mention our company's strong support for the
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reaut author racial f reauthorization of the perkins technical act. i understand it has been reauthorized in the house and we would hope the senate would continue passing the bill as well. >> absolutely. miss gross? >> when we talk about this very quickly changing industry, it is almost mind-boggling what's going on right now. if i just sort of share a couple of tidbits. applications from silicon valley to g.m. have increased 100% over the last couple of years. there is incredible interest in the innovation that's being announced these days. that innovation does spur the movement of folks around with the talents that we are going to need, because it is a very different place than it was before. the second one is that 35% of our salaried workforce at general motors has been with the company less than four years, stunning but that's the kind of movement in our industry
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bringing in the talents we are looking for. just as bob said, we are also looking very carefully and investing in s.t.e.m. programs. we have made some recent investments in girls that code, black girls that code as well, to make sure we are looking at not only diversity but the talents in the s.t.e.m. resources and capabilities we are looking for to drive the innovation we need. >> terrific. yes, yes, mr. dorobantu. >> at eaton, we are concerned with the future of our workforce and the quality of that workforce. our normal traditional university programs do not produce enough engineers, specially in the fields that are now in place, software controls, electronics and so forth. so we work with universities obviously to try to lay track for our workforce through more
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traditional channels line internships and so forth. we have worked with some universities to establish certificate programs around systems engineering and manufacturing technologies. i will say that we do spend a lot of time and resources in retraining, continuously retraining our workforce. that is important. last but not least, we do have policies in place trying to tap into the talent pool, the diversified talent pool. right now, our industry, mechanical engineering, very nondiverse oriented. we have to change that. there is just too much tall thaent we a talent that we are not tapping into. i can get back with details if you need those. >> great.
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thank you. i am sorry. doctor, did you want to -- >> sure. i wanted to give you an example. last week, i was in corktown, michigan. we had a meeting with michigan state university and michigan economic development council about trying to come up with a new program of how we train the workforce around manufacturing. the idea is to bring the capabilities of the university to detroit but then to co-locate with the corktown facility so people learn how to deal with new equipment and things like that. in the state tennessee, as you know, the governor now said everybody in the state can go and do a two-year college free. so we are trying to actually use this national app with the community colleges to reinvent the program, two plus two. you could spend two years in the community college and come work or train in the national lab on some of the tools that we have.
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if you decide you want to go to the next level and go to the university, then the university tennessee may be able to do that. that's in the works. we are thinking about it. i think it is really an important concept. the other thing is, within the state tennessee, we have something called the radisson center. it is for graduate students that do their research at oak ridge national lab. many are from the university tennessee. there is a program for other students from other universities. that actually is quite enriching for the student and for the lab, not just from a research point of view but they learn other things in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship and things of that nature. that is another role that the national labs can play in helping folks in the country to move forward. >> thank you. i'm so glad you could come to corktown. it was my pleasure to be there when that facility was opened. it was truly a great example of partnership with the federal government, the state, and the private sector.
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thank you. >> thank you, senator stabenow. i'm reminded that as we are talking about how we get more particularly young people into these fields, manufacturing, and all of the high-tech skills that we need, i am reminded that in most alaska villages that i visit, it is not the person with the ph.d. that has great value, it is the young kid that can repair the snow machine and the four-wheeler. they are the ones we all look to. making sure that we are not only training those on the manufacturing end and, again, kind of the fun stuff, it is those that will be repairing and working on these advanced vehicles. it is one thing to know how to fix your father's oldsmobile and the engine that was underneath
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it and now today so much of it is computer related, making sure that those who can be on the repair end of things have those same appropriate skillsets as well. it is changing. >> i just have a couple more questions. i will ask and then turn back to senator stabenow here before we conclude. i want to pick up on something that you raised, miss gross, when i asked the question about fre infrastructure and what more we need to be doing. you pointed out what i think is the appropriate role of working with the utilities and a recognition that there needs to be some level of coordination or certainly communication so that there is a better understanding
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as to how particularly with e.v.s we can maximize the efficiencies. it goes to a statement that was made earlier, and this might have been by you, mrs. bailo. we can't make folks buy things that they don't want. so it is how we are communicating with the public about what is happening with these advancements and how they might benefit you and if they do how you can be a better participant. senator stabenow and i were speaking before the hearing about the driverless vehicles. i'll be the first one to publicly admit out loud, they scare the living daylights out of me. she described or you described as well, miss gross, your experience last weekend of
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driving hundreds of miles without literally touching the wheel. what is the effort out there within the industry to help better educate the consumer, make us feel more comfortable but also allow us to recognize the benefits that can come when we are smartly using the advanced technologies that the industry is clearly poised to help deliver? it is kind of a broad question. but i'm curious to know what your response might be. >> yes. it is a wonderful, wonderful question. it is sort of at the crux of the opportunity right now, how to all players play together and take on part of the role because
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it is a very large challenge. it is unifying utilities and their role in building and installing infrastructure. it is also rallying environmental groups and industry groups to cooperate on national awareness campaigns. there are a lot of cooperation that has to go on. maybe if i touch on the infrastructure side of it, back in 2007, when we were just penciling out the volt program and we were sort of reflecting on what we had learned from e.v. one in the '90s. one of the major strategies was going to be the engagement of lec t electric utilities. back in 2007, we set up a very large and broad partnership with the electric power research institute and 50 of the members, very forward leaning, looking at electric vehicles.
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we back them. we have been working on this a decade now. we are up to 200 utilities that work very cooperatively together on aligning policy priorities, aligning talking points so that when they are talking to consumers and we are talking, we are using the same vocabulary, answering questions in the same way, have the same understanding of how the grid operates and where the issues are and are not, where the opportunities are. and then, lastly, the role of national encouraging of e.v. awareness and the role of u ' l utilities. not everybody buys a car from general motors. we don't have access to every consumer. a utility has access to every single consumer purchasing electricity in that service territory. that path to speak to consumers about the importance of electric drive and what it means to the grid, our data also suggestion and many other studies out there
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too suggest that consumers would rather hear utilities, talk about electric vehicles and the role of electricity in transportation than talk to dealers or automakers. they are viewed as trusted third-party experts on electricity. that role of utilities cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to sort of the role of what else could happen when i look at some of the things that can happen on the federal level. the department of energy had a program in place called e.v. everywhere. they were coordinating and convening industry experts, ac de academia. we were working together on campaigns. it needs to be more. we need to invest in this sort of messaging and show a vision nationally. one thing i can point to that has been a really nice piece of glue is the effort by d.o.t. in
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cooperation with the department of energy in establishing these alternative fuel highway corridors across the country. there is no money assigned to that. it would be great if it were also funded. just simply the notion of creating a map of charging stations across the country from coast to coast has allowed local utilities and states to sort of recognize how if they do their part, it glues into this larger strategy and vision for e.v. infrastructure. just simply creating a vision and communicating that federally and nationally is really, really helpful to help these sort of disconnected pieces but important, important local stake holders participate in the solution space for how we get these vehicles growing and adopted in the marketplace. >> let's go to dr. khaleel. >> first of all, we face multiple challenges. so the consumer, as carla
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mentioned about range, they are anxious about the driving range. the other thing they are anxious about is time to charge their car. today, with technology, it takes about 30 minutes to charge a battery to 80% capacity. so that's also a concern. then, there was another concern, regarding uncertainty of the demand. so you don't know where these charging stations need to be. so the utilities, when we speak to the utilities that we work with, clearly, they are willing to engage but the issue is also cost. the cost needs to come down. so there are uncertainties that the consumers face but also the utility folks face, where they place it, is it part of their business model. the critical thing for us to do is overcome these challenges. one way to overcome the challenges is for us to win the energy race in these areas. we need to innovate and perform
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research and work together. the u.s. companies with the energy capacity we have, the national labs and universities, to really move ahead of these challenges. >> a couple quick examples about things that have worked to educate the public. one is when nissan first launched the leif in the early 2012 period, the thing that worked very well was cooperating with cities directly and dealerships directly and holding public forums with just to meet your e.v. day. this is how you charge the vehicle, this is how the vehicle performs. a second example is the columbus smart city initiative of which vulcan donated $10 million for
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basically increasing the number of e.v.s three times and charging stations within the city. part of that involves local businesses working with the automakers, taking the products to a company for a day-long event, ride and drive, let people drive the vehicle. let them understand how to charge the vehicle. let them see how it can be integrated into their daily lives. seeing is believing. until we have the momentum of word of mouth, these kind of events really seem to be working. >> so i would like to shift a little bit of the discussion on to commercial vehicles. much more passenger car vehicles, of course, on the roads. if you look at it from an energy consumption perspective, the commercial vehicles are right behind the light-duty segment in terms of how much co2 is admitted and how much fuel is
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being burned. further more, that consumption is increasing in time as opposed to the passenger car market where because of all the work that's being done and all the focus that's on it, the total emissions are actually going down. so the commercial vehicle space is different, has very different challenges. we do not have the consumer there but we do have the fleets or the operators of these vehicles and they have different needs than the consumers with light duty. for them, the vehicles are a means of performing work. for them, things like down time is critical, total cost of ownership is critical. there are other means. there need to be other means to reach that community. things that have worked are demonstration programs, as well as investments. i will give one example.
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we are working to look at how the grid and fleets of commercial vehicles that have batteries on them could interact and could provide benefit and, in fact, improve the value proposition of electrifying commercial vehicles by offering grid services. that's a different process. the end result is the same. it is the education of stakeholders but the stakeholders in the commercial vehicle space have a very different value they are trying to optimize. >> might i also add one more point when i think about consumer awareness and really grabbing consumers' attention. i talked about the shared mobility programs that were operating around the country. we have 300 bolt e.v.s in our maven gig program, which us a
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ride sharing, ride hailing program in six cities in the united states. in those 300 vehicles, we have been operating only about 18 months or so, we have had 400,000 riders in bolt e.v.s. these are 400,000 people that didn't have the ability to experience what we always say is a butts in seat experience, where you experience the drive in a car, which changes your mind instantly, about how fun these vehicles are to drive. that's another form of how we are embedding electrification in the ability to get the vehicles out there driven so you can experience and ask the driver, what am i driving? this is really fun. that's another form of awareness growing in the country. >> well, thank you, again, madam chair. i want to talk about public/private partnerships in my last questions, because we
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know we have basic research and then we have what companies are doing in terms of commercialization and so on. the big debate, it seems to me, that we have, in terms of the federal government's role, sometimes we are doing it, sometimes we are not, is this piece in the middle, which sometimes is called the valley of death. you get ready to commercialize or get ready to take that step and then there is not the support in the middle of that. one of the things the department of energy has done is the super truck program. i know that dr. dorobantu, your company is a participant in this. i wanted to get your thoughts. as you know, 50/50 cost share, public/private partnership promoting research and development and demonstrating technologies to improve as you were talking about commercial vehicles, the class 8 tractor-trailer trucks, and the goal is to improve it by more
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than 100% by 2020. i should remind all of us that the trucks haul as much as 80% of the good are fs for the coun making up 4% of the vehicles but 20% of the major way to save on fuel economy is to focus on trucks. what's your assessment of the super truck program at this point? >> so just -- >> turn your mike on. >> yes. >> two super truck programs. one has been successfully concluded a couple of years back. another one has recently been launched. >> the first phase had a number of impressive results. >> right. >> it has allowed us to provide
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laser focus at the system level. the technologies have evolved, in a complex vehicle, many technologies have evolved. but what super truck allowed manufacturers and suppliers to do is put these technologies together in packages and see what actually works and what doesn't. it allowed us to prune some of these technologies but also we now have the technologies from super truck that were evolve d and some are already saving fuel today. when the super truck program started most of the class a
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trucks were averaging 6 miles per hour. the program itself we're looking at 10, 12-mile-per-hour trucks. those are research trucks. trucks coming out today that are incorporating the technologies that were demonstrated and straightened out under the super truck program, those trucks are in the 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 miles per gallon today. that is a tremendous achievement. it has impact in the cost of transportation, fuel consumption and ourn our competitiveness worldwide. when we started super truck, we were way behind the european trucks.
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now the regulations that were recently enacted, we're in a position to overtake the europeans that pride themselves in being fuel efficient by bounds and leaps. very excited with the outcome of the super truck program. and we're looking forward to the second edition. >> thank you, doctor. we're going to need you to tell this story, the act is in the energy bill on the floor, which is very important. i do need to say that we're going to have a big debate on this, in general, of these partnerships because the administration has proposed cutting nearly $1 billion from the department of energies office of science and cutting the vehicle technologies office budget by 73%. so we're going to be having a lot of discussion. we're going to need your help,
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all of your help on why this is important. and to that, broadly. we know we're in a competition with other countries. you're in competition between companies, as well. for all of us, this is about american leadership and remaining leaders in this technology. and to your company, i know, does business on 175 different countries, including the u.s. and we're glad you're in michigan. can you talk about how the u.s. compares to other major world economies in terms of supporting technology innovation? from your perspective, how does a company with a global footprint decide where to invest its research and development dollars? >> thank you. that is a complex question. but i'll start at when we look
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around the world at what other people or regions or countries are doing, we're seeing significant competition in terms of advanced technologies, obvious obviously, coming from europe. i will give one example of how other country does this. the united kingdom, for example, has realized five or ten years ago it had lagged behind from being a leader in the auto motive world to becoming a lagger. they had made crystal clear decisions to address that situation. what they have done is they have set up a massive public/private partnership called the uk automotive council, funding it for a period of ten years so they have the stability in that. then they have defined a number of key technologies that if
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successful would put the uk back in the saddle. they are funding anything from start-ups to major suppliers with this sharp strategy and with long-term funding associated with it. they do use the 50/50 cost share mechanism to make sure that, you know, it's not a bunch of scientists, perhaps, like myself that make decisions and then turn out to be wrong. so the cost share industry is a mechanism of ensuring that the research is guided toward actual commercialization. in terms of how we operate globally, obviously, we have to be where our customers are. so we do that. but we have also global resources and we have sensors.
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so our technology is done here in the u.s. this is where we put our advance technology monies. we have engineering centers, and you're trying to adopt them for the specifics of those markets. >> in interest of time at this point, i will save my questions for another day. excellent panel. we appreciate your input. >> thank you, senator. and i would hope that the recent move we made to lower that corporate rate will be one of those forcing mechanisms, if you will, that would allow many others to look at the united states as the place to either
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return some of that business to allow for more of whether it's the r & d or the manufacturing. hopefully, that helps with the competitive aspect of it. i, too, want to thank everyone for the information you have shared with us today. nobody really thinks about alaska as being innovators in the auto motive sector but we've had been plugging in our cars for decades. all of the cars that i've ever owned had a head bolt heater and the little plug is sticking out of the front of the grill and you plug in your car because if you don't it doesn't start the next morning. at least this time of year in fairbanks where i learned to drive. maybe not the precursor, but we
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certainly understand what it means to plug your car in. and i'm just mazed and inspired by the level of innovation we've heard here today and look forward. maybe i need to take advantage of some of the ride sharing you've talked about. but i experienced it myself there. but still the driverless one. i'm going to feel compelled to still reach for the wheel or be more hands on. i'll get used to it. before we do close, though, i want to thank bob and joe koch and all the convention staff that made this hearing possible and allowed us to work our staff with yours. it was a good opportunity. i certainly have enjoyed it.
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senator stabenow, i'm even more motivated to come to detroit, to michigan. >> great. >> and see more of what you've got going on. and you, in turn, are welcome to come to alaska. >> yes. >> and you can see how in our little communities the mayor of cordova, one guy saying, you know what? we're going to be a demonstration case in our little fishing village. and you start them one little charging station at a time. may have to bring you up to cordova. i'll go to detroit. >> good deal. >> with that, we stand adjourned.
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