Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum 2002 Meeting Summary

The initial meeting of the DOE Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum (NGVTF) was held on September 18, 2002 at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) headquarters in Diamond Bar, CA.

The summary below outlines the presentations featured at this meeting. To request a specific presentation from this meeting, contact NGVTF.

Attendees and Leaders

Attendees included industry and state agency leaders who want to promote natural gas vehicles (NGVs) because of the environmental and energy security benefits of NGVs. Dennis Smith of the DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office led the meeting. Richard Parish of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Denny Stephens of Battelle, and Doug Horne, an independent technical consultant, provided organizational support.

Topics of Discussion

After introducing the 25 attendees, Dennis Smith presented the meeting objectives.

Meeting Objectives:

DOE Update

Updates were provided on the recent reorganization of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the fiscal year 2003 budget status.

NGVTF Purpose

Although DOE resources are limited for NGV development and deployment activities, coordination and cooperation with state and federal funding agencies could result in significant progress being made in the proliferation of this technology. Therefore, the purpose of the NGVTF was stated as being:

"To communicate and share information among stakeholders with the common interest of advancing NGV technology."

Another key purpose is to demonstrate that DOE is listening to the NGV stakeholder community and is creating a coherent, focused activity to enhance NGV technology and fueling infrastructure deployment. To fulfill the NGVTF's purpose, three venues for communication and coordination have been established:

  • Leadership Committee—To suggest funding approaches and share strategic–level information and data on NGV technology trends, issues, barriers, and needs. Committee participants include representatives of federal, state, and local governmental agencies; engine and vehicle manufacturers; fuel suppliers and retailers; and industry consortia.

  • Technical Committees—To review technology development and deployment, identify obstacles, and suggest technology enhancement needs.

  • Projects Coordination Team—To confer on funding strategies, discuss contract management, lead Technical Committees, and support communications efforts.

Stakeholder Issues and Priorities

Doug Horne presented the results of interviews with key stakeholders conducted between the March 2002 NGV stakeholder meeting and the NGVTF kickoff meeting. Recurrent themes included vehicle engine and platform needs, requirements for an expanding fueling infrastructure, definition of NGV emission benefits, improved communication and information sharing, support for codes and standards development, and increased NGV and fueling infrastructure deployment. The interviews also verified that stakeholders want to see DOE focus its NGV activities and develop consistency, and that they support this forum as a method of doing so.

Comments from meeting attendees were solicited in response to this information. Many were pleased with the actions that DOE has taken in pulling the DOE NGV activity together and providing the needed focus. There were several comments about revisiting the 5-year plan that the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition produced a few years ago, prioritizing funding needs, and getting better buy-in from DOE and other stakeholders.

Progress Report on NGV Projects

DOE national laboratory project managers presented the status of ongoing NGV projects:

  • Next Generation Natural Gas Vehicle engine development
  • Medium- and heavy-duty NGV platform development
  • LNG from landfill gas
  • Clean Cities natural gas related activities
  • Previous Infrastructure Working Group projects

The SCAQMD also gave a presentation on California's implementation of fleet vehicle rules and its technology incentive program.

Moving Forward

This Leadership Committee meeting fulfilled its stated objectives and was well received by all attendees. Future Leadership Committee meetings are planned for Austin, TX, and Albany, NY, to better gather information on activities that affect the implementation of NGVs in those states. Initial Technical Committee meetings will occur in December 2002 or January 2003.

Organizations Represented at the Leadership Committee Meeting

  • Battelle
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • California Air Resources Board
  • California Energy Commission
  • California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
  • Clean Air Partners
  • Cummins Westport Inc.
  • DBHorne LLC
  • Gas Technology Institute
  • Honda
  • John Deere
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
  • NGV Ecotrans Group
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • Southern California Gas Company
  • SunLine Transit Agency
  • U.S. Department of Energy