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tv   Energy Technology Auto Industry  CSPAN  January 30, 2018 3:59am-5:47am EST

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good morning. the committee will come to order. a little bit unusual to be here that 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 the great the auto industry has to offer. i'm joined this morning with vice senator stav no from the
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great state of michigan and she as if krjed me that while the washington ought so show is good, the detroit ought so show is great. so that might be the locale for our next field hearing next year on this same subject. i appreciate you standing in or sitting in for senator cantwell, our ranking member on the committee. i understand senator mansion will also be with us but he is enjoying the auto show right now and he will be here as soon as he can steal himself away from some of the latest and greatest. i want to thank the washington area new auto dealers association which puts on this ought so show every year for helping us coordinate the hearing. i think this is an exciting time for it automotive sector.
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lightweight materials like carbon fire, titanium, aluminum and composites are improving efficiency while boosting performance. at the same time advanced manufacturing technologies are decreasing the time and cost of bringing new concepts to market. this is increased the productivity of our automotive suppliers, allowing u.s. manufacturers to thrive in a hypercompetitive global market. lithian ion battery prices are falling. and the chevy bolt and tesla's model 3. and meanwhile, sales and consumer adoption have increased for other alternative fuel vehicles including the hydrogen powered toyota. and while technologies are changing, so to are policies in many countries across the map. in the past year a number of nations have issued new targets,
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mandates and regulations. india, for instance has committed to banning petroleum powered vehicles by 2030. france as made that same commitment by 2040. china, which has the world's largest automotive market has mandated 10% be electric by the year 2019 with annual target increases after that. here in the united states i think we're going to do what we do best, probably better than anyone in the world and that's innovate. i'm particularly interested in hearing from our witnesses this morning 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 now automotive technologies i think it's important they're working as intended. we also need to make this a
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holistic determination by determine how electric and hydrogen vehicles will be effected by our energy system. i was mentioning, as we were gathering in the back just before this that in alaska, in our capitol city, juneau, which is on an island, we have a burgeoning electric vehicle market, a local utility provide said nearly 100% renewable power to its customers by way of five hydroelectric plants and engaged in pretty successful demand response program to incentivize charging at specific times in the day. these efforts are cutting costs and emissions and the result we're seeing in juneau is one new registration per week which in a smaller community is about 35,000 people in our capitol. that's meaningful. and it's kind of exciting.
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many of our remote communities are completely disconnected from a traditional grid and yet we're innovating in some ways that are pretty unique, bringing local resources together to decrease costs in very high cost rural areas. last year we held a field hearing. we were in cordovea. a fishing village not connected by road to anywhere else in alaska. so not only not a transportation grid but not an electric grid and we focussed on hybrid microgrids and now the inovators are working with the university of alaska and further industry to further test the bounds of their microgrids. one of the next steps will be installing chargers and studying how ev charging can benefit their microgrid. we're testing applications even in the furthest north of this
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country. this morning i'm happy to well camdistinguished panel of witnesses. we have representation from across the automotive sector and multiple technology development stages from research to suppliers to automakers. we have considerable opportunities in front of us. but we also have a lot of work to realize, whether it's moving some of our most promising concepts to the dealership lot and out on to the road or whether it's addressing lesser recognized challenges such as mineral security which could make or break entire technologies. we cannot arow that to worsen as advanced vehicle technologies are increasingly adopted. i thank our witnesses in advance for being here this morning. all who help make the hearing possible and i will turn to the
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senator for comments. >> thank you so much for holding the field hearing today. i appreciate your focus on this very exciting area of automation and transportation and energy and we look forward to having you at some point in detroit. we would welcome you there as well. and i also want to thank all of the witnesses. i have to tell you that i'm very proud that -- of our five witnesses. three are from michigan. michigan's in the house here today. so and there's a good reason for that. it's because that's where the action is on these issues and so i want to welcome all of you particularly yet ifa of detroit for general motors. and carla bailo who is the ceo of automotive research and
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dr. mehigh from eaten and michigan. so we thank all of you for being here and for our witnesses not from michigan, you're welcome to move toi michigan. we would love to have you. i've often said michigan's workers can out work, out innovate anyone and we're proud of that. a lot of that is centering around automobiles and transportation and that's been true for 100 years or more. and it's very true today. one out of every five vehicles manufactured is manufactured in michigan and our state's 944,000 auto related jobs account for about 1 out of every 5 of our total work force. but this isn't -- we used to say this isn't your father's olds mobile. i actually grew up on an olds mobile car lot in northern
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michigan. but we don't do olds mobiles anymore. so we know that mobility and transportation is rapidly evolving. i think more than we even realized. things are moving very quickly. both here in the united states and around the globe. that's why we're proud to be the home in michigan of the american center of mobility focusing on all of these issues and i had a chance to see some of that great evolution last week at the north american auto show. from the emergence of new engines powered by hydrogen, rather than oil. did you buy a car, joe? i want to know. okay. >> i'm still negotiating. >> all right. so but to the new lightweight materials and designs to rapidly
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evolving technologies, these breakthroughs will change the way you go to school, go to work, get the products that we make to market and best of all 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'll be left idling in a cloud of dust while it rest of the world speeds ahead of us and we can't let that happen. just stay in the lead, we need strong partnerships between industry and our scientists at the department energy and research institutions and all of us together and that's why i appreciate the chair's support for the bipartisan vehicle innovation act that senator peters and alexander and i introduced in the past, have reintroduc
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reintroduced. it's part of the energy bill on the floor that i strongly support movering forward on. i look forward to hearing from our partners today about the new research, the new technologies, approaches that are driving us forward. thank you. >> thank you, senator. i have an opportunity to engage in just fascinating discussion. i think some of the subjects we deal with are the most captivating of our time frb my husband and i have raised two sons in their nide early 20s right now and they look at their mother's job with oh, gosh, how do you sit through that? this is one hearing where they say she's got a pretgy job. so would you care to make any opening comments? >> it's a pleasure to be with
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both of you and i want to thank lisa for setting this up here i'm a little bit late because i was admiring all it new products. ford to chrysler to toyota. if you make it, i'll buy it. i just really do and i think you're so lucky to be in this industry. they say you find a job that you love, you never work a day in your life and if you're in the auto industry, i think that's true. i wanted to talk a little bit about western university. my alma mater has been competing in advanced vehicle technology competition since 1988 beginning with the methanol marathon. she's actually one of the 16 universities chosen to compete in the latest advanced
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challenge, echo car three. we have over 60 undergraduates and graduate ph.d. students working on the project. the chevy camaro reduces impact but still delivers performance. so i'm happy to see toyota represented on the panel. i just did an interview live that was going to go back to our buffalo plant where they make the drive train. now they make the engines, the four cylinder engine 25 years ago. and the whole thing about the evolution of the toyota plant. dr. toyota and i met him in japan with then senator rockefeller. dr. toyota was so excited to tell me that against all of the
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advice, do not put a plant, an engine plant there. he was dwtermined to do it. and not only is that engine plant become a success, it's become a model for the toyota manufacturing and grown into some of the most sophisticated ingens in the world are there. i said i want you to see this beautiful vehicle. without virginia labor, it wouldn't move. i said this thing would not move without it engine you put in it and the drive train you made for it. toyota employers approximately 1300 that plant and over 600 at 13 toyota dealerships across the state. investment by toyota motor manufacturing totals more than 1.2 billion, producing 537,000
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transmissions. toyota also supports 900 jobs at our suppliers. their count rubugz is vital and i'm glad they're a partner of our great state. i want to thank you for everything you've enabled us to do. so i look forward to working with all of you and the industry. it's very important and so goes the ought so industry, so goes us. all three of us would rather be right here than on the hill. >> i would ask that you try to keep your comments to about five minutes. your full statements will be
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thecluded as part of the record. that will allow us plenty of opportunity to provide for questions and answers going back and forth and hopefully good dialogue this morning. so joining us at oak ridge national laboratory. we appreciate it good work that comes from our many national labs around the country. so good to have you with us this morning. ms. carla, at the center of automotive research has already been acknowledged. nice to meet you and to have you here. dr. mehigh who is the director for the technology, planning and government affairs at eaten vehicle group. again, a michiganer. michiganander. got to get that right. ms. britta, also a michig
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michigmichigan michiganander. nice to have you with us. and the director for the energy and environmental research with toyota. so it's good to have the full panel with us. dr., if you would like the start off this morning and we welcome you. >> 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 transportation sector. and it's revolutionizing the transportation. these technologies will forever change mobility, the movement of goods and the society in fundamental ways.
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at oak ridge national lab our scientists and engineers with work with partners to produce break throughs for cleanest forms of transportation. for example our staff have been able to innovate in the area of safer, high density batteries. we have increased the battery energy content five folds by lowering the cost by a factor of five. we co optimize ultrahigh efficiency. and electric motor made with low cost domestic materials that generates sniff competently more power than we use today. it was at the national transportation center. the only transportation facility that we develop the world's
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first wireless charging system. capable of transporting -- we're on our way to delivering 100 kilowatt system. while it's charging can make recharging much easier while insuring that an electrified transportation system is a benefit and not a burden to the nation's power grid. they demonstrate how a hybrid electric vehicle can wirelessly transfer power to a home using solar panels. energy reliability for the home owner, more flexibility for the electric grid operator and the ability to use the vehicle battery for energy storage. super computers, especially titan and the upcoming system summit, resources are being leveraged to simulate the
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vehicle and advanced systems. these resources including the new super computer is expected to be the world's most powerful when it comes online this year. enabling the artificial intelligence systems needed to control and integrate autonomous and connected vehicles. even as we look to the future of electricified vehicles, the internal combustion engine is still the work horse. labs are -- focus on combining fuel and combustion research to maximize vehicle fuel economy and performance. they're researching break throughs for vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells. improving on board storage and supporting infrastructure through a scale program.
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we are also using it abilities of the manufacturing facility and carbon fiber technology facility to come up with breakthroughs in low cost carbon fibers. composite materials and 3d printing for faster and cheaper production methods to improve the global competitiveness of automakers. this is crucial to sharpage research activities and efforts of the national labs, guiding the way to the most impactful result for a real world success. we are a cofounder of the institute for advanced composite innovation. bringing together over 160 members from the private and public sector to move carbon and other fiber composites to the automotive market and just last month joined 19 other private companies and universities and state agencies.
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to accelerate the development and deployment of mobility innovation in tennessee. in conclusion, ornel and other national labs stand ready to work with the public and private partners to develop and demonstrate breakthroughs in science and fundamental bring them to the road. i thank you again for the opportunity to provide and welcome your questions. >> thank you. welcome. >> thank you, very much. i'd like to thank chairman murkowski and also senators for the opportunity to address you today. i'm carla baio in ann arbor mg pg. we're a monprofit, independent, nonbiassed research facility that brings together stake
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holders for discussions and really trying to solve and do it 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 2 1/2 years where i led smart mobility and smart city research and now am fully into the nonprofit research side of the business. when we look at the automotive industry today, it's in a critical period of disruption. on it one side sales are booming, even thee we had had a slight drop off this past fiscal year and we're seeing high profit models, full-sized pick up trucks providing prophetability at levels we have not seen for some time. on the other side there's a strong need for technology and power trains and lec
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truification combined with vehicle technology that are stretching the limits in terms of talent and dollars. our auto makers are all global. the portfolios are very diverse and challenging. to remain competitive the auto makers must comply with all the regulatory environments, including those must most aggressive globally. we've seen nearly all the auto makers announcing electricification goals, it runs the gambit all the way through full electricification. the diomty that exists today and we talked about this before the panel began is we can't make customers buy what they don't want and our research indicates that the internal combustible
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engine will comprise about 90% of global 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 and improving the range. it's difficult really to predict but if this continues, the proliferation could increase significantly. throughout the u.s. the percentage of electric vehicles varies greatly depending on the infrastructure and initiatives. and on a global level we see a similar trend. the main drawback we hear about purchasing an electric vehicle is range and the lacking of charging infrastructure going along with that, as well as purchase costs. although the total cost of ownership, including serviceability and refuelling that product, it will break even
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in a certain amount of time. so a lot has to do with informing the customers of the true facts of ownership. we can solve a lot of these issues through technology, supply/demand and clarity on the charging infratruckture which includes the hydrogen infrastructure. i'd be remiss if i did not mention that thelic trk used to supply the power must be from a renewable source. ev's utilizing coal power electricity have a much higher end to end than an internal combustion engine. the next point is really about technology, leadership and talent. this is a strong passion of mine and really if the u.s. wants to continue leadership in the electricification race, we need be a hub for this kind of development in the automotive industry. the countries who create the
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high standards will drive the innovation and grow the talent. and we would really like for that to be here in the u.s. thank you for your time. >> thank you. doctor, welcome. >> good morning. welcome. >> good morning. chairman chairman murkowski, mansion, thank you for the opportunity to testify in front of your committe committee. the industry is in a fear of rapid change. this committee has correctly identified these trends as enormous opportunities as we move into the next generation of commercial and passenger vehicles. it is leading supplier with 20,000 associates and more than 110 cities across the united states and our vehicle group employs nearly 3,000 associates in manufacturing, research and development in georgia, indiana,
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nebraska, north carolina and of course michigan. as an independent supplier, eaton's innovations include a large number of vehicles delivering fuel consumption improvements both in the u.s. and worldwide. regulatory pressure, technology innovation, and customer expectations are driving the adoption of clean intelligent problems creating exceptional growth opportunities for well positioned companies. at the vehicle level, the need to simultaneously reduce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emission sz driving advances in come pu combustion engines both as a means to create efficiency. at the transportation systems level, controls enable step changes in efficient utilization of these vehicles. even recognized early that the vehicle sector was on a trajectory of increased co2
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emissions and petroleum-based fuel burn, so we positioned our entire vast r&d portfolio to address vehicle energy efficiency along the following three directions. to first improve the efficiency of the vehicle powered creation, both conventional and electrical. to efficiently distribute that power from its creation all the way to the wheels. and finally, to optimize the use of that power in an increasingly diversified set of needs. so, over a decade, we have worked closely with several government agencies and that are also pursuing advanced energy use in vehicles. our public/private collaborations with national labs such as oak ridge, in tennessee or national energy renewable lab in colorado accelerate accelerate innovation and create competitiveness. eaton access to talent and capabilities such as high performance computing or vehicle
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testing equipment as well as precompetitive results, but at the same time we contribute expertise, research direction, materials and funding. the result is that working together we create and demonstrate new technologies and joint advance state of the art and enhance our competitiveness. we also work closely with the department of energy through its vehicle technologies office and advance manufacturing program. in partnership with the d.o.e. we successfully develop the fundamentals of advance technologies that are now becoming essential elements of new products. from the perspective of the vehicle programs at the d.o.e., these play a vital role in maintaining the u.s. technology leadership in global markets, and especially important is the public/private partnership model. these partnerships accelerate innovation in several ways. they foster collaboration across the industry in ways that are
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not easily achieved with separate commercial entities that are acting independently, and thus we create new opportunities and new products. they also connect basic research capabilities in universities and national labs, with their industrial r&d organizations. thus accelerating the pace of introduction of innovation. the partnerships also connect technology start-ups where new concepts are developed, to industrial players that have manufacturing capabilities and scale. and finally, they also demonstrate the potential of new technologies and thus enable product development investments that otherwise could not be made in what is essentially a conservative industry. the vehicle programs at the department of energy and national labs are key to maintaining the u.s. industry's leadership position at all the levels of the supply chain. the public/private partnership model is proving particularly
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effective in guiding investments in areas that have promise of high impact or perhaps too early, too broad, or too unproven for industry to pursue alone. it is essential that the investments are balanced between fundamental research and funding technology demonstration programs. in my experience, it is easy to recognize fundamental science, and that's typically the domain of public investment. and it is also easy to recognize new power development which is typically the industry's job. however, the transition between these two areas is nontrivial. it is at this juncture in the innovation policy the public/private partnerships are most effective. in closing, i would like to thank you again for the opportunity to testify. as we can see by the automotive innovation that surrounds us here today, the industry is moving forward at a rapid pace and we applaud your efforts to understand the emerging trends and support american innovation in the field. thank you. >> thank you, doctor.
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>> good morning. my name is britta gross and i'm general motor's director of vehicle communication policy. i want to thank chairman murkowski, for inviting me to talk about the opportunities and challenges general motors sees facing advance vehicle technologies particularly zero emission vehicles. if i may first offer a perspective about how quickly the world is changing, in 2010 when general motors introduced the plug-in chevrolet volt, we were the first with a plug-in vehicle. last year americans purchased nearly 2000 electrified vehicles including battery electrics, plug-in hybrid electrics and fuel cell electric vehicles for to more than a dozen manufacturers. our own groundbreaking chevrolet volt, volt ev and cadillac ct 6 plug-in accounted for nearly one quarter of those vehicles. while this sounds like an
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incredible growth in the electric vehicle interest, it's nothing compared to what is coming. you may have heard general motors recently announce our 000 vision. that is, our belief in a future world with 0 crashes, 0 emissions and 0 congestion. this vision represents the convergence of our work in connectivity, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and car sharing in an effort to move humanity forward. and as part of that vision, we announced our plans to bring at least 20 new all-electric vehicles to the market by 2023. our next step in moving towards zero emission world. we know we are not alone in our optimism. as electric vehicles become cheaper, as batteries improve on performance and price, and as manufacturers reach scale, we will see exceptional growth in ev adoption. electric vehicles bring enormous societal, economic and technological opportunities. not only are electric vehicles cleaner and quieter to operate, they are also fun to drive thanks to the instant torque
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electric motors provide. because of electric vehicles, general motors is making major financial investments in manufacturing facilities as well as research and development facilities here in the united states. we are innovating around battery design and are increasing hiring in areas not always associated with the auto sector, like computer science and software design. with all the benefits electric vehicles bring, there are challenges, too. consumer acceptance of electric vehicles has steadily increased but we still have a long way to go. i want to focus on two areas where your committee could help sustain continued growth. the first is consumer adoption and the second is aiding with charging infrastructure build out. the federal electric vehicle tax credit worth up to $7500 has been an important incentive for ev buyers and is without a doubt responsible for helping to fuel ev adoption. we appreciate the senate's role in keeping this customer incentive in place as tax reform passed last year. this federal incentive sends a particularly powerful signal
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about the importance of vehicle electrification to consumers in all 50 states. right now when we are on the cusp of attracting more mainstream consumers to evs, is when we need to continue and strengthen this positive signal the most. it is a valuable tool to allow consumers greater access to evs. on infrastructure, this committee has a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for the future. mass adoption of electric vehicles represents a smart and flexible load unlike any load on the electric grid. if we do this right and we plan for smart charging of evs late at night and in the early morning hours, evs can act as storage devices that make use of under utilized power plants at night and take advantage of intermittent renewables thus evs can lead to a balanced grid load. all the benefits of the grid can't happen unless the united states reaches true scale with evs. we need ev charging stations that are highly visible to consumers and that drive consumer confidence in the ability to drive evs anywhere at
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any time. ev charging infrastructure today has grown from nonexistent to over 17,000 public stations, but more is required. this market will become more viable and competitive over time, but we have a long way to go. this early market currently requires continued partnership between electric utilities, station operators, vehicle manufacturers and support by federal, state and municipal government. to establish charging stations at the same scale as the 168,000 gas stations across the country. i would also like to thank the committee for their support for the vehicle innovation act. bipartisan legislation introduced by senators stab now, alexander and peters that would support the development of new technologies in the automotive space including electric vehicle charging. this is important legislation. we hope the congress will pass this year. ev infrastructure is not only key to removing the barriers to acceptance of electric vehicles, but is also an imperative for other innovative and advanced mobility solutions such as car
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sharing, ride hailing, and self-driving vehicles. the speed with which ev charging infrastructure and adoption grow will determine the future of mobility in the united states and set the stage for even more advanced transportation technologies. and leading in these technologies here in the united states means we can take these technologies to global markets and that's 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, ms. gross. mr. wimmer, welcome. >> chairman murkowski, senator sab sabinw, senator mansion, and members of the committee. toyota appreciates the opportunity to testify before the committee today on energy innovation in automotive technologies. toyota believes there is no one solution to addressing our energy and environmental challenges. that's why we are developing a portfolio of technologies from advance gasoline and diesel engines to more efficient transmissions to lighter weight
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materials, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drive systems as well as our zero emission battery electric and fooul cell vehicles. it is our hydrogen fuel cell technology that i am pleased to discuss today. fuel cells are not new. in fact, they were developed in the 1800s and provided electricity and drinking water for our apollo and space shuttle astronauts. systems for on-road vehicles 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 tail pipe. for toyota, hydrogen fuel cells are an integral part of our zero emission vehicle strategy. what differentiates fuel cell vehicles from other zero emission technologies is their long driving range, typically over 300 miles on a fill of hydrogen. they are built to refuel quickly, usually under five minutes, and scaleability of fuel cell systems to virtually any size vehicle. toyota believes retaining kia
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tributes of the internal combustion engine allows fooul cell engines to appeal to the larger amount of buyers leading to more sales. toyota introduced its first retail ful cell vehicle in 2005. sinces its introduction, over 3,000 have been sold in california and over 5,000 globally. the marai has an estimated ema range of 312 miles on a tank of hydrogen and fuel economy rating of 67 miles per gasoline gallon equivalent, about twice that of a standard midsize sedan. scaleability is another important aspect of fuel cell technology, like adding more cylinders to an engine, more cells can be added to a fuel cell stack to increase power. this makes fuel cells the perfect zero emission technology for suvs and trucks which accounted for over 65% of new vehicle sales in the u.s. in 2017. scaling the technology further, toyota has developed fuel cell
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systems for both transit buses and tractor-trailers. we recently announced toyota will build 100 second generation fuel cell buses for athlete transport during the 2020 tokyo olympics. in the u.s., we have begun testing a proof of concept tractor-trailer hauling cargo containers from the ports of los angeles and long beach to local destination ands rail yards. this tractor-trailer has a range of 200 miles per tank and has a gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds. if successful, fuel cell drainage trucks could provide an opportunity to eliminate emissions and noise from often highly polluted and under privileged port areas. a great advantage of hydrogen is its ability to be produced in a variety of ways from different fuels. doit will demonstrate one approach with the world's first megascale fuel cell power generation plant and fueling facility that we are building at the port of long beach to fuel our port operations.
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the tri jen fa selt will use renewable biowaste to generate water and hydrogen. vehicle price nor consumer acceptance, but hydrogen refueling infrastructure. california is the leader in infrastructure in the u.s., having committed $200 million to co-fund 100 hydrogen fueling stations. to date there are 31 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 about 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 fuel cell vehicle sales. finally, toyota wants to recognize the department of energy for their ongoing support of hydrogen and fuel cell
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research, development and commercialization. their investment of over a billion dollars for r&d has accelerated commercialization of the technology to the benefit of all. recently its ongoing engagement with state and regional authorities to address technical questions related to tunnels and bridges and to alleviate any concerns about the safety of the technology has been highly beneficial. d.o.e.'s continued support in these areas is critical to eliminating regulatory barriers that will slow the roll out of the technology. toyota strongly believes that a portfolio of advance technologies is highly efficient engines and range of electric drive options are required to meet the sometimes divergent needs of customers, regulators and society with their longer range and ability to refuel quickly and scaleability we believe hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can 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.
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i was 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 or she turned 16, they'd be driving a car that was a hydrogen powered vehicle. what year was that? >> i believe it was 2000. >> i think so. we're now in 2018. okay, get moving. >> that's right. >> but 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, the moms from the clean air force, focusing on how we, how
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we can do a better job, an important job of reducing emissions when it comes to our transportation pla transportation fleet. so, thank you for what we've heard today. here in the nation's capital and up on the hill, there's a lot of discussion about infrastructure and what an infrastructure package might look like that we could work to advance. i'd be curious to know, several of you have hit upon it. mr. wimmer, you certainly spoke to the need for infrastructure as it relates to hydrogen stations. ms. gross, you spoke to the need for charging stations for evs. but what else is out there in terms of, of energy-related infrastructure challenges that we are seeing right now with
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regards to advanced vehicle technologies? if we are putting together a package that could help advance, advance these technologies and start making a difference, what else is out there other than charging stations? and you can, you can amplify if you want, but i'd be curious to hear from each one of you. let's begin with dr. kaleel. >> thank you, senator. clearly like you said charging stations would be needed. other infrastructure for producing hydrogen will be needed. but a lot of these depend on really electricity, even from the main grid or from a micro grid. so, i think the big thing that we really need is, you know, to make sure our electrical grid is resilient and reliable through the introduction of things like micro grids and also energy storage in various ways. so, i think that would be the
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backbone to all of the items you discussed earlier. >> very important. ms. bailo? >> thank you. i fully support the need to have the correct infrastructure, both in charging stations and in hydrogen. hydrogen and fuel cells are one of the powertrains that will have the greatest impact on full-size trucks and/or commercial vehicles. and with the burgeoning e-commerce load we're 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, micro grids are very essential. we need to start trialing those in various areas. we also need to look at grid balance and the appropriate positioning of where we put those charging stations. may not be equally distributed. you really have to look at the demographics of usage. we also need to get the private sector involved.
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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 plumbed in as part of its code. fundamentally, same as you put, you know, you plum in for a dryer today, it should be there. it should be ready. doesn't mean you need to put the expense of the charging station, but it's easier to do it in the beginning than in the end. we also need to focus, as i mentioned before, renewables, making sure that we have a clean energy supply coming into that grid. >> [ inaudible ]. >> so, i'll reinforce the point about the electrical grid, especially the electrical grid modernization. we have a number of issues, challenges facing us in the form of grid stability, incorporating renewables. people talked about microgrids
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and that is a significant change to our infrastructure. but also things like smart grid management and the overall control and distribution geographically of the electrical grid. >> [ inaudible ]. >> yeah, a couple things come to mind. first of all, i'll just echo everything that khaleel talked about, public charging, workplace charging and the building codes that would ensure that housing, single-family homes, multi-dwelling user unit homes, that everything is just building in, codes that require just a simple dedicated circuit when you move into this home so that it's ready to charge a vehicle when you move into the home. so, i think that's really important. but beyond that, i would say, you know, one thing that's really tough right now in this early market is -- and why there is a lack of investment in ev infrastructure is that it's a really tough business case. there just isn't the scale, there isn't the utilization of
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these stations so business case is very, very tough which means there is just not that competition out there, there is not the investment. one of the likely parties that you can turn to is the utility industry. they are experts at deploying electrical systems, at maintaining, at operating, reliable. they do a fantastic job in that industry. but if you look at the 3,000 utilities in this country and the 50-state regulators for most of those utilities, you start to recognize there is nothing that knits them together so that the infrastructure they put in sort of is adapted to the utility next door and the next utilities so we end up with a semblance of some national strategy. so, coordinating the utility industry and the state regulators to participate together is really important. and maybe i'll sort of just get -- touch on the smart charging area of vehicles. it's really important to take advantage of this big load coming and do it right by smart charging, you know, charge the vehicles in the early morning
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hours when there's low -- when the wind is blowing or in the daytime at work when the sun is shining and there is excess electricity on the grid. so, utilities being prepared today with apis on their front end to talk to telematt i can systems like on star system, utilities could talk to on-star, talk to all our vehicle drivers and say, hey, would you like to take advantage of hydroelectric power on the grid right now? we've got excess. we'll drop your rate a couple pennsylvania pennsylvan pennies, here you go. those sort of forward-looking, system views of how -- what the utility's role is in ev infrastructure and the smart charging of this load is going to be really, really powerful going forward. >> mr. wimmer, final words? >> final words. i agree with what many of the other panel members said. on hydrogen, i think we can look at from the infrastructure
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standpoint have standardized codes and standards from the different cities and states. in california it's been fairly straightforward because we're dealing with primarily one entity. in the northeast when we look at expanding infrastructure to other states, you're dealing with each individual state and each individual city, and their regulatory process is very different. there is a long education that goes -- or involved education process that the industry has to do with each regulator. then also the hydrogen production. as i mentioned, we are looking at one approach, unique approach to hydrogen production. i think there's many other ways. one is d.o.e.'s hydrogen scale approach where you're using excess renewable or grid energy to produce the hydrogen in a very clean and efficient way. to be able to look at other options for hydrogen production and transport to the stations would be helpful. >> thank you all very much, very helpful. senator stabinow. >> madam chair, senator mansion
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indicated he's going to have to leave shortly. he's got to go buy a car. i will yield to him and i will reclaim my time after. thank you. >> i wish. lets 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. and west virginia is proud to to produce 76% of your energy. we're an all-energy state. water, hydro, solar, wind, we love it all. but the fact is if you want 24/7 reliability you have to go with base load. so, don't ever forget that right now. we're still trying to move to the new technologies, but you have to remember what has us at the dance right now. i understand a major challenge to the greater manufacturing -- this is from manufacturing, adoption of electric vehicles is access to
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critical minerals also known as rare earth minerals or rare earth elements. china's monopoly in the space is concerning, extremely concerning to me, and 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 domestic supply chain. i find it interesting that the largest global adopter of electric vehicles in 2016 was china at 40% of global demand for these vehicles. so, my question would be in light of the use of critical minerals and lithium ion batteries and other components of these vehicles, how concerned are you and your company about access to critical minerals? it could be shut down at any time. you could be choked off at any time. so, we need you to engage. so, i think i have three people i know -- everybody can.
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on top of that, i needed to finish up on that. rare earth elements, so that you'll know, we don't mind any rare earth elements in the united states of america at all. we don't produce one ounce any more. so, we're relying on another foreign country to produce where you all want to go, and the american consumer might want to go. but you have to be realistic. we're not prepared to do it. and you're putting billions and billions of dollars in investment that could shut you down overnight. so, 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 that we're trying to contain for the climate, which is our nondrainage. we can produce and we're working on that, 45,000 tons per year. 45,000 tons per year of rare earth elements just from the
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waist and the mining of what we do for the country. but it's going to take an investment from the department of energy working with us and we have our friends here with the department of energy and i'm glad they are here. and we want -- we want to make sure that you all are aware of that because we're going to need your help. if you could tell me how this could affect you. yes. >> senator, a few points. on coal, one should look at coal to products. one of these products is rare earth. but there are a lot of other things one can do with coal, sure, including you can produce carbon fiber. >> we do. >> when it comes to rare earth, we need also to look at substitutes, other substitutes. you know, for example, making magnets without any rare earth. there is an initiative and an institute funded by the department of energy and actually the national energy technology lab is part of that called the critical material institute, and led by aims national lab a participant in
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that. >> right. >> and we've 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 right now or just basically in the production -- i mean, into the -- >> i think they can move into that easily. >> into commercial. >> the other thing is when it comes to batteries, yes, there is a lot of critical elements like lithium, manganese, cobalt, nickel. clearly when it comes to lithium, for example, you know, we in the united states don't have that production. although we have the resources in north carolina with the -- >> we don't buy any of it. >> right. and i think that's a challenge. today we get it from chile -- >> what i'm asking is are you all concerned about your supply chain because of our trade differences or our trade maybe disagreements that you could be harmed if something happens with
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our relationships? >> i can speak from the research point of view. i think, and the innovation. i think we really need to invest in the research and the innovation -- >> okay. >> -- to make sure we can produce things at cost. >> right now you're saying you're not concerned at all? >> i am. >> okay, that's all i need to know. who would like to speak next? >> i think -- >> i know, all of you, if you have time, madam chair. all of you can really respond to this. i'm sorry. >> as a large manufacturer of batteries, clearly any interruption in our supply chain of materials, we would be concerned with. but -- >> is that part of your strategic planning? >> exactly. and we are looking at, as was mentioned by my colleague, of technologies, materials that can either substitute -- >> gotcha. >> -- in our electronics, our motors, our batteries or diversification. for example, our hybrid batteries, most are nickel metal hydride with only a few ion.
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if there is a shortage in one type of material, it might not affect all of our vehicles, but just some. so, it's a concern, but the diversification in moving towards it -- >> right now as most of you are aware, most of your products, as far as your product of manufacture, does that come from china? are you all buying from china? >> i don't have -- >> you don't know that? okay. >> we can get back to you. >> we know you are because they have most of the -- [ laughter ] >> we already knew the answer before we asked you. [ laughter ] >> but that's where all the global -- they have the global control with energy elements. i'm sorry. >> most the auto makers fundamentally have 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. when we look at what's happening globally, for the cost of some of those rare earth materials as
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well as aluminum and steel, we are seeing significant increases recently. >> sure. >> so, 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 and 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 and international -- >> let me ask one question. what time period are you talking about before this evolution comes to this new alternative rare earth elements that you don't need any more? >> well, we've already seen a significant reduction. even in the very basics that exist today in catalytic converters. probably up to 60% has been reduced. and, again, as we keep finding breakthroughs and better chemical equations in the battery technology, et cetera, that number will continue to come down.
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if it's going to become zero is anybody's guess. the other thing i want to add on the coal front, i don't think we can negate the fact 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 -- >> not when we had an administration that tried to shut us down completely eight years ago. whew, horrible. okay. >> eaton and its vehicle business is not really a player in the battery -- on the battery side of the business so we're not directly affected. i can go back and ask our other industries and get back to you. thank you. >> yeah. and just to add a couple nuances 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
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materials. you know, one thing that's of interest, though, is that some of these -- a lot of these materials are not just in automotive in our batteries are also across all of electronics. laptops, cell phones, and so on. so, it isn't just us tug ug on these resources so that's important. what also comes back to us is sort of the cost of these materials. and so more recently there's been an issue with cobalt. prices increasing. that just drives prices on our side as well and that's a problem for, you know, the price we can offer these vehicles to the consumer. so, we do watch that closely. in fact, the important work that's happening when we move from generation one technology, the volt that came out in 2010, and where we are today with generation two and the volt ev as well, in that period what we're doing is trying to streamline our use of those materials in many cases. it's trying to reduce the way -- reduce the amount of lithium or amount of cobalt in these
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systems so they still operate, they're safe, dependable, durable. we can reduce the cost by improving the engineering process, architecture of the system or also the manufacturing process itself and how we apply the material. so, we get more and more effective, it is part of the process of developing and innovating. >> i thank all of you as a panel. you've been extremely informative and professional. thank you [ inaudible ]. >> thank you, senator manchin. no pun intended, that was a critical question. it is so important to the discussion because 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, base elements that we need to manufacture them -- and i appreciate what you have said, miss gross, this is not just in the automotive. as we look to build out many of our renewable energy sources,
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whether it is -- whether it's wind turbines and the fact that you need to have the coding on the blades and the coding comes from, from so many of these minerals, it is an issue that i think has, has finally registered an appropriate level of attention within the government. we've certainly been pushing it for years on the energy committee and now we feel like we've got a chorus of voices that are saying, hey, yeah, this is really important. let's not forget it. let's go do senator stabinow. >> thanks very much, madam chair. 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 to another need that we have in all of this, and ms. bailo, you talked about that, and that is
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talent, stretching our talent right now and what's happening. one of my big concerns is that we look in the big picture, national association of manufacturers says next seven years we'll create 3 1/2 million new manufacturing jobs. and at the moment we could fill 1 1/2 million of them. and 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 and technical education. so, my question would be, and i'll start with ms. bailo because you had mentioned this specifically and you're working with a variety of folks in this context. but what are your thoughts on how we look at our educational system and best prepare individuals for jobs, not only tomorrow, but that are right
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here right now and redesigning -- i'm working on efforts to support more options in college, but also redesigning and expanding career and technical education in high school and also lifting up the privately funded skill building trades training centers we have 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. give me an electrician that, you know, can do the pieces that need to be done. so, what should we be doing in that space? >> thank you. i mentioned it's a passion of mine, so i'll 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. starting with even very young
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children in their education, to begin to enlighten them into new ways of thinking, innovative ways of thinking, different mind-set is needed in today's industry than existed before. so, starting there, and then working your way up through. and i think we need to eliminate the notion that every person needs to go to a four-year institution because 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. and we need to provide students that show that, that aptitude a place. it doesn't have to be four years. and we need to provide also opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, even starting in high school to, again, build that passion. we need the skilled trades, not only to manufacture the
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products, but to work on the infrastructure that 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, and in today's world you need to be a systematic thinker. so, 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 udasity which is entering the university space that basically says, we're going to guarantee you a job. it's a very low price you have to pay, around $2,000, 18 months, you have a certificate, you get a job immediately. if that job becomes obsolete or changes, you go get another
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certificate. so, there's 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 work forces, then they will also become obsolete. so, 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 and we will develop new technologies and not have the talent, the skilled people we need for that. so, anyone else want to comment on that briefly? yes. >> the technology in the work force is clearly significant, as you mention. and it's really an issue. toyota has been working on to some extent struggling with for a while. universities have a role to play, but so does industry. technology is moving so quickly these days that there needs to
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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 and engineering fields as well as the technicians to come right to work into the workplace. we're currently partnering with over 50 community college and other institutions to train the technicians for our dealers, for our manufacturing facilities that come in and work on tools, to prepare them for life in the industry. we are also working to promote stem and a variety of k-12 schools. again, focusing on both the technical career path as well as a university engineering career path. finally, i'd like to mention our company's strong support for the re-authorization of the perkins career and technical education act. i understand it's been reauthorized in the house and we
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would hope that the senate would continue or consider passing the bill as well. >> absolutely. yes, ms. gross. >> yeah, i just, you know, when we talk about this very quickly changing industry, it's almost mind boggling what's going on right now. if i just sort of share a couple, just tidbits, applications from silicon valley into gm have increased 100% in the last couple years. so, there's incredible interest in the innovation that's being announced these days and that's innovation does spur the movement of folks around with the talents that we're going to need because it's just a very different place than it was before. second, 35% of our salaried works force at general motors now has bnz with teen with the less than four years. stunning that that's the kind of movement in our industry, bringing in the talent we're looking for. so, just as bob said, we are also looking very carefully and investing in stem programs.
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in particular, we've made some recent investments in girls who code, making sure -- and black girls who code as well. to make sure that we're looking at not only diversity, but the talents and the stem resources and the capabilities that we're looking for also to drive the innovation that we need. >> terrific. yes. yes. mr. durabandy. >> we are concerned with the future of our work force and the quality of that work force. no more traditional university programs do not produce enough engineers, especially in the fields that are now in place. so, software, controls, electronics and so forth. so, we work with universities obviously to try to lay track for our work force through more traditional channels like internships and so forth, but we
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have worked with leading universities to establish certificate programs around, for example, systems engineering, and manufacturing technologies. i will say that we do spend a lot of time and resources in retraining, continuously retraining our work force. that is important. and 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 looks very mechanical engineering very nondiverse oriented. we have to change that because there is just too much talent that we're not tapping into. i can get back with details if you need those. >> thank you. i know i'm about -- i'm sorry, doctor, did you -- >> sure. actually, wanted to give you an
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example. last week i was in michigan. we had a meeting at michigan state university and michigan economic development council about really trying to come up with a new program of how we train a work force around manufacturing. and the idea is to bring the capabilities of the university to detroit, but then to co-locate with the coal town facility. so people learn how to deal with the new equipment and things like that. in the state of tennessee, as you know, the governor now said we can -- actually everybody in the state can go and do a two-year college free. so, we're trying actually around the community colleges to reinvent the program 2 plus 2. you can spend two years in the community college and come work or train in the national lab on some of the tools that we have, and then if you decide you want to go to the next level and go to the university, then the university of tennessee may be
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able to do that. that's in the works. we're thinking about it and i think it's really an important concept. the other thing is within the state of tennessee, we have something called the center for graduate students who actually do the research at oak ridge national lab. many of them are from the university of tennessee, but there is a parallel program for other students from other universities, and that actually is quite enriching for the students 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's a really -- another role that the national labs can play in helping folks in the country moving forward. >> thank you. i'm so glad you could come to cork town. it was my pleasure to be there when that facility was opened. it was really a great example of partnership with the federal government, the state and the private sector. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, senator stabenow. i'm reminded that as we are
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talking about how we get more, particularly young people into these fields and manufacturing and all of the -- really the high-tech skills that we need, i'm reminded that in most alaska villages that i visit, it's not the person with the ph.d. that has great value. it's that young kid that can repair the sonoma machine, that can repair the four wheeler. they are the ones that we all look to. and so, making sure that we're not only training those on the manufacturing end and, again, kind of the fun stuff, it's those who will be repairing and working on these advanced vehicles. it's one thing to know how to fix it, you know, your father's oldsmobile and the engine that was underneath it and now today so much of it is computer related and making sure that
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those who can, who can be on the repair end of things have those same -- have the appropriate skill sets as well. so, it is changing. i just have a couple more questions that i'll ask and then turn back to senator stabenow here before we conclude. and i want to pickup on something that you raised, ms. gross, when i asked the question about infrastructure and what more we need to be doing. you pointed out the appropriate -- 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 as to how, particularly with evs, we can, we can maximize the
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efficiencies. and it goes to a statement that was made earlier, and this might have been by you, ms. bailo. we can't, we can't make folks buy things that they don't want. so, it's how -- it's 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 here about the driverless vehicles and i'll be the first one to publicly admit out loud, they scare the living daylights out of me. and she described or you described as well, ms. gross, your, your experience last weekend of driving hundreds of miles without literally touching
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the wheel. how -- 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 advance technologies that the industry is clearly poised to help deliver? it's kind of a broad question, but i'm curious to know what your response might be. >> yes, so, it's a wonderful, wonderful question because it's sort of at the crux of the, of the opportunity right now is how do all players play together and take on, you know, part of a role because it just is -- it is a very large challenge. it's unifying utilities and
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their role in building and installing infrastructure. it's also rallying environmental groups and industry groups to cooperate on national awareness campaigns. you know, there's a lot of -- there's just a lot of cooperation that has to go on. maybe if i just touch on first the infrastructure side of it. back in 2007 when we were just pencilling out the volt program, and we were sort of reflecting on what we had learned from ev 1 in the 90s and it was clear that one of the major strategies that was either going to make or break electric vehicles was going to be the engagement of electric utilities was we had learned in ev 1 they had to be a partner right by your side. so, back in 2007 we set up a very large and broad partnership with epri, electric power research institute, and 50 of its utility members who were very forward leaning looking at electric vehicles. we've been working on this a 20 that work very cooperatively
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together on aligning policy priorities, aligning talking points so that when they're talking to consumers and we're talking to consumers, we're using the same vocabulary, answering questions the same way, how the grids are working and where the opportunities are. so, these areas -- and then lastly, the role of national -- you know, encouraging ev education and awareness and the rome of utilities. utilities are uniquely positioned because not everybody buys a car from general motors. we'd love if that were the case, but we don't have access to every consumer. but a utility has access to every single consumer purchasing electricity in that service territory, and that path to speak to consumers about the importance of electric drive and what it means to the grid, our data also suggests and many other studies out there, too, suggest that consumers would rather hear utilities talk about electric vehicles and the role of electricity in transportation than talk to dealers or auto
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makers because they are viewed as very trusted third-party experts on electricity. so, i think that that role of utilities cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to sort of the role of the -- sort of what else can happen. when i look at some of the things that happen on the federal level, department of energy was -- had a plan in place called ev everywhere. they were coordinating and convening industry experts, academia, ngos, everyone who is a stakeholder in the ev market. and we were, you know, working together on ev awareness campaigns. it just needs to be more, we need to invest in this sort of messaging and we need to sort of show a vision nationally. one thing i can point to that has been a nice piece of glue is the effort with d.o.t. in cooperation with the department of energy in establishing these alternative fuel highway corridors across the country.
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there's no money assigned to that, would be great if it were also funded, but 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 ev infrastructure. so, 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 stakeholders participate for how we get the vehicles growing and adopted in the market place. >> go to dr. khaleel. >> first of all, we face multiple challenges. so, the consumers as mentioned about range, they are anxious about range, the driving range. the other thing they are anxious about is time to charge their car.
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you know, today the technology takes about 30 minutes to charge a battery to 80% capacity. so, that's also a concern. there is another concern as 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 is uncertainty as you know that the consumer face, but also the utility folks face. to where they place it, is it part of the business model and so on. so, i think the critical thing for us to do is to overcome these challenges. and one way to overcome these challenges is really for us to end the energy race in these areas. we need to innovate and we need to perform research, work together, the companies, the u.s. companies along with the innovation capacity that we have
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in the country that includes national labs and the universities, to really move ahead of these challenges. >> just a couple quick examples about things that have worked to educate the public. one is when nissan first launched the leaf 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 meet your ev day. this is how you charge the vehicle. this is how the vehicle performs. a second, a second example is the columbus smart city initiative of which vulcan donated $10 million for basically increasing the number of evs by three times, charging stations, et cetera, within the whole city. part of that initiative involves local businesses and working
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with the auto makers, 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. and until we have the momentum of word of mouth, these kinds of events really, really seem to be working. >> [ inaudible ]. >> so, i'd like to shift a little bit the discussion onto commercial vehicles, much more passenger car vehicles, of course, on the roads. but 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 emitted and how much fuel is being burned. and furthermore, that consumption is increasing as opposed to the passenger car
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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 in light duty. for them, the vehicles are a means of performing work. so, for them things like down time is critical. total cost of ownership is critical. so, there are other means that need to be other means to reach that community. things that have worked are demonstration programs as well as investments. ly give one example. we are working to look at how the grid and fleets of commercial vehicles that have
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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's the education of stakeholders, but the stakeholders in the commercial vehicle space have a very different value that they're trying to optimize. >> [ inaudible ]. >> might i also add one more point when i think about consumer awareness and really grabbing consumers' attention, and that is i talked about the shared mobility programs that were operating around the country right now. we have 300 volt evs in our mave engig program which is a ride sharing, ride hailing program in six cities in the united states. in those 300 vehicles we've been operating only 18 months or so, we have had 400,000 riders in
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volt evs. these are 400,000 people that didn't have the ability to experience what we always say is a butts in seats experience where you experience the drive in a car which changes your mind instantly about how fun these vehicles are to drive. so, that's another form of how we are embedding electrification and the ability to get the vehicles out there, driven so that people can experience and ask the driver, hey, what am i driving? this is really fun. so, that's another form of awareness growing in the country. >> [ inaudible ]. >> well, thank you again, madam chair. i want to talk about public/private partnerships in my last questions because we know we have basic research and we have what companies are doing in terms of commercialization and so on. and the big debate, it seems to
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me, that we have in terms of the federal government's role, sometimes we're doing it, sometimes we're not, is this piece in the middle, you know, which sometimes is called the valley of death. you get ready to commercialize or take that step and then there's not the support in the middle of that. one of the things department of energy has done is the super truck program, and i know that dr. durabantu, your company, it's a participant in this. so, i wanted to get your thoughts. as you know, 50/50 cost share, public/private partnership promoting research and development, demonstrating technologies to improve, as you were talking about, commercial vehicles, the class l tractor-trailer trucks and the goal is to improve it by more than 100% by 2020. i should just remind all of us that trucks haul as much as 80% of the goods for the country. they make up only 4% of the
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vehicles, but they're 20% of the fuel. so, major way to save fuel economy is to focus on trucks. what's your assessment of the super truck program at this point? >> so, just -- >> mic. >> there are actually two super truck programs. one has been successfully concluded a couple years back and then there is another one recently launched. i'll talk about the one that has -- >> we know the first phase had a number of impressive results so i'm just wondering as it goes forward what we need to do. >> what this program allowed us to do, the industry as a whole, obviously not just eaton, is to provide laser-sharp focus on fuel efficiency at the system level. so, there's been many investments in very particular technologies which were needed
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and the technologies have evolved, complex -- in a complex vehicle, many technologies have evolved. but what super truck allowed manufacturers and suppliers to do is to put these technologies together in packages and see what actually works and what doesn't, when they are put together as a system. so, it helped the industry sort out many options and prune some of these technologies. but also we now have the technologies from super truck that were developed -- the first super truck program are already in production. they are saving fuel today. so, to give you some feel about this, when super truck -- the super truck program started, most of the class a trucks were averaging 6 miles per gallon. the super truck program itself produced some mind blowing results so we're looking at 10,
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11, 12 miles per gallon trucks. but those were research trucks. what we are seeing that the trucks that are coming out today that are incorporating the technologies that were demonstrated and that were straightened out under the super truck program, those trucks are in the 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 miles per gallon today. so, moving from under 6 to 7 1/2, 8 miles per gallon in a period of maybe five, six years, that is a tremendous achievement. so, it has impact in the fuel consumption. it has impact in the cost of transportation. and it has impact in our competitiveness worldwide. when we started super truck, we were way behind the european trucks. now we are, combination of technologies we developed on the super truck and very stringent co2 regulations that were recently enacted, we're in a position to overtake the
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europeans that pride themselves in being fuel efficient by bounds and leaps. so, very excited with the outcome of the super truck program and we're looking forward at this second edition. >> well, thank you, doctor. we're going to need your help to tell this story. i indicated earlier that vehicle technology, the innovation act with the chair support and the committee is in the energy bill on the floor which is very important. but 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 energy's office of science and cutting the vehicle technology's office budget by 73%. so, we're going to be having a lot of discussion. we're going to need your help, all of your help on why this is important. and then just to that brodsly,
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-- broadly, as we look at other countries, because we know we're in competition with other countries. you're in competition between companies as well. for all of us, this is about american leadership and remaining the leaders in this technology. and, mr. durabantu, your company, i know, does business in 175 different countries, including the u.s., and we're glad you're in michigan. but can you talk about a little bit more about how the u.s. compares to other major world economies in terms of supporting technology innovation? and from your perspective, how does a company with a global footprint decide where to invest its research and development dollars? >> thank you. it is a complex question, but i'll start -- when we look around the world with what other people are doing, what other countries or regions are doing, we're seeing a significant
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competition in terms of advance technologies obviously coming from europe. i will give one example of how other countries do this. so, the united kingdom, for example, has realized about five, ten years ago that it had lagged behind from being a leader in the automotive world to becoming a lagger. so, they have made some crystal clear decisions in terms of investment and strategy to redress that situation. so, they view it as an economic competitive edge to invest in innovation. what they have done is they have set a massive public/private partnership called the u.k. automotive council, funded it sufficiently for a period of ten years so that they have the stability in that. and then they have defined a number of key technologies that, if successful, would put the u.k. back in the saddle. and they are funding, anything
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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 where the industry is a mechanism of ensuring that the research is guided towards actual commercialization. i think in terms of how we operate globally -- well, we obviously have to be where our customers are. so, we do that. but we have also global resources and we have centers of excellence that have global. so, our investment in terms of
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technology is done here in the u.s. and this is where we put our advance technology monies. what we do have in other parts of the world we have in centers trying to adapt these technologies and optimize them for the specifics of those markets. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. i have a lot more questions but i know in the interest of time at this point, i will save those for another day. excellent panel, and we appreciate your input. >> thank you, senator stabenow. i would certainly hope that the recent move that we made in the congress to lower that corporate is going to be one of those, one of those forcing mechanisms, if you will, that would, would allow many others to look at the united states as the place to either return some of that business, to allow for more of
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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, for the information that you have shared with us today. nobody really thinks about alaska as being innovators in the automotive sector, but we've, we've had -- we've been plugging in our cars for decades. >> that's right. [ laughter ] >> all of the cars that i've ever owned had a head bolt heater. the little plug is sticking out of the car -- out of the front of the grill, and you just plug in your car because if you don't plug in your car, it doesn't start the next morning. at least this time of year in fairbanks where i learned to drive. so, maybe not the precursor, but we certainly understand what it means to plug your car in.
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and i'm just -- i am amazed and just very inspired by the level of innovation that we've heard here today and look forward.
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