PNGV Program Budget Cut By 30%, Refocused
Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Spencer Abraham recently announced that the Bush administration will cut funding for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) by $39 million, or nearly 30 percent. Officials said the administration hopes to broaden the focus of the eight-year-old research program in order to produce technology that can apply to all types of vehicles.
"We are streamlining and refocusing this program to give greater flexibility to the automakers and greater benefits to the taxpayer," said Abraham. "It will be an area where there will be less spending, but I think it will be more productive to focus spending on where the industry is headed."
PNGV was established in 1993 as a joint venture between the federal government and General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and DaimlerChrysler. The goal of the program is to develop production prototypes of family-sized sedans that can achieve a fuel economy of at least 80 miles per gallon by 2004.
So far, automakers have invested almost $1 billion in PNGV, developing hybrid electric diesel engines, aerodynamic designs and lighter materials. However, none of the vehicles are ready for mass production yet.
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