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News Release: Fleet of Advanced Vehicles to be Tested, Demonstrated at NREL

July 25, 2008

U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner announced today that the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will be home to a demonstration fleet of advanced vehicles that will serve as a test bed for research and development.  In addition, the demonstration fleet will help visitors to NREL learn about advanced vehicle technologies that are available or in development.

"DOE is committed to the advancement of clean vehicle technologies to address our addiction to oil and confront the serious challenge of global climate change,” DOE Assistant Secretary Alexander Karsner said.  “NREL, our Nation's premier laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research, is the ideal place to demonstrate, test, evaluate and validate the vehicles that will ultimately transform our fleet and offer Americans quality of life and freedom of mobility in an environmentally sound manner."

Today's event at NREL provided a preview of the types of vehicles that will be among those demonstrated at the national laboratory in the coming months. Assistant Secretary Karsner was joined by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle in getting an up-close look at the 18 cars and trucks from eight manufacturers that were on display. The governors and assistant secretary test drove some of the cars, which included vehicles fueled by electricity, hydrogen, ethanol and biodiesel. Many of the vehicles featured promising technologies designed to increase efficiency without sacrificing safety or comfort.

The NREL test fleet will be representative of current, advanced, prototype and emerging technologies. NREL will collect data on the vehicles' performance and assess the potential of the technologies. The vehicles in the fleet will be rotated regularly to ensure that both current and coming technologies are represented.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by Midwest Research Institute and Battelle.

Editors: A list of vehicles at today's demonstration follows

Vehicles available to drive          

Compressed Natural Gas/Gasoline fueled Ford F250 pickup truck

Compressed Natural Gas fueled Honda Civic

Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered Mercedes A-Class

Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered Ford Focus

Hydrogen Fuel Cell powered Hyundai Tucson

Hybrid Electric Toyota Highlander

Neighborhood Electric GEM car

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Ford Escape

Display only

Compressed Natural Gas fueled GM van

E-85 Ethanol fueled Corvette dragster

All-electric Phoenix Motorcar

Hybrid Electric Denver RTD Bus

Hybrid Electric GM Tahoe

Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine powered Chevrolet Silverado

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Toyota Prius

Biodiesel powered Mercedes C-Class

Lightweight gasoline powered SMART car

E-85 Ethanol fueled Chevrolet Impala Flex Fuel Vehicle


—George Douglas