New US Energy Act Call for Many Changes

The new policy will sharpen ONRL's focus on its transportation research, including designing lightweight materials and efficient diesel engines for passenger cars.

Published: 28-Dec-2007

Consumers may not feel an immediate impact, but an energy act signed into law last week could signal long-term changes in the cars we drive, the auto fuels we pump and the appliances we use every day.

The provisions to boost automobile fuel efficiency and production of renewable fuels got the most attention, but the law also calls for more efficient lights, buildings and appliances, and research and development of advanced energy technologies.

"We've got the technical know-how to do almost everything cited in the energy bill," said Dana Christensen, the associate director for Oak Ridge National Laboratory who oversees energy and engineering sciences. "Now, the challenge is for U.S. manufacturing centers to adopt the new technologies."


The system operates from the Calor Gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane that is already on board for cooking. The system will fit comfortably in an aft locker, normally used for a conventional generator.

The Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept uses GM's E-Flex propulsion system, combining the new fifth-generation fuel cell system and a lithium-ion battery to produce an electrically driven vehicle that uses no petroleum and has no emission other than water.

Powered by a 100 kW electric engine and fuel cell stack, the i-Blue is capable of running more than 370 miles per refueling and achieves a maximum speed of more than 100 miles per hour.


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