Impacts and Awards
NREL has an impressive record of breaking down barriers to accelerate the development of new transportation technologies.
NREL provides the scientific building blocks needed to spur innovation through early-stage research and engineering. In turn, this acts as a catalyst to help industry bring affordable, high-performance, energy-efficient passenger and freight vehicles, as well as domestic alternative fuels and related infrastructure, to market. Learn about our electric vehicle technologies and targets.
The following success stories provide a snapshot of NREL's transportation research activities.
NREL experts support regional and municipal organizations with technical advice, market barrier identification and eradication, partnership cultivation, and stakeholder engagement.
NREL's in-depth exploration of the interface of fuel chemistry, ignition kinetics, combustion, and emissions examines ways to maximize the energy delivered by and minimize emissions associated with biofuels, natural gas, propane, and petroleum-based fuel, while ensuring fuels' compatibility with infrastructure.
NREL's hydrogen production, storage, and infrastructure R&D, paired with fuel cell technologies research, are accelerating the progress of bringing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market.
NREL's real-world-based guidance helps manufacturers design and develop energy-efficient technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
NREL's Sustainable Mobility Initiative approaches sustainable transportation as a network of travelers, services, and environments—rather than just vehicles and roads—using connectivity and automation to optimize mobility and significantly reduce related energy consumption.
NREL thermal management research focuses on energy storage, power electronic, and climate control system operating temperatures to improve vehicle performance, range, reliability, lifespan, and affordability.
NREL provides the nation's most credible and complete transportation energy-efficiency clearinghouse for validated, up-to-date statistics, data analysis, and tools, pairing information from government and private-sector partners with expertise in analysis and applications.
NREL researchers are developing and evaluating fully integrated systems that connect cars, power grids, and renewable energy sources to deliver cleaner, more sustainable transportation options.
NREL's transportation researchers are regularly recognized by scientific and technical societies, government agencies, and other organizations for their achievements.
Colorado Governor's Office
2012 Governor's Award for High-Impact Research—Matt Keyser
2010 Governor's Award High-Impact Research, Energy Efficiency Finalist—John Rugh
2018 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Award—H2@Scale Team: Bryan Pivovar, Mark Ruth, Paige Jadun, Josh Eichman, Wesley Cole, James McCall, Nick Gilroy, and Elizabeth Connelly (plus researchers from Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
2016 DOE Vehicle Technologies Office Special Recognition Award, Motor Thermal Management—Kevin Bennion
2015 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Team Merit Award—Brian Bush, Marc Melaina, and Michael Penev (with Amgad Elgowainy of Argonne National Laboratory)
2014 GreenGov Presidential Award for Partnership between DOE, the Department of Transportation, and the Federal Energy Management Program—Mark Singer, Ryan Daley, and Navid Ahdieh
2014 DOE Vehicle Technologies Office Merit Award—Wendy Dafoe
2014 DOE Vehicle Technologies Office Merit Award—Gi-Heon Kim
2014 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Merit Award—Jennifer Kurtz
2014 DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Merit Award—Michael Penev
2012 DOE Vehicle Technologies Office Merit Award—Matt Thornton
2014 Mid-Continent Regional Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, Isothermal Battery Calorimeters—National Renewable Energy Laboratory
2014 Honorable Mention in Excellence in Technology Transfer, Isothermal Battery Calorimeters—National Renewable Energy Laboratory
2017 NASA Government Invention of the Year, First Runner-Up—Battery Internal Short Circuit Device
R&D 100 Awards
2001—Current Interrupt Charging Algorithm for Lead-Acid Batteries
1996—Benchmarc Catalytic Converter
2010 Glenn Award for Best Paper—Casey McAlpin, Teresa Alleman, and Robert McCormick
1992 Best Paper Award for the 1992 Heating and Cooling Sessions of the ASME Solar Energy Division—Ahmad Pesaran
1990 Best Paper Award for the Fundamental Sessions of the ASME Solar Energy Division—Ahmad Pesaran
2016 Award of Excellence for Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants—Bob McCormick
2012 Charles W. Tobias Young Investigator Award—Bryan Pivovar
2017 Safety and Security Category—Battery Internal Short Circuit Device
2017 Best Paper for "Advanced Cell-Level Control for Extending Electric Vehicle Battery Pack Lifetime"―Muneeb Rehman, Fan Zhang, Michael Evzelman, Regan Zane, Kandler Smith, and Dragan Maksimovic
2017 Researcher of the Year Award—Earl Christensen
2017 Innovation Award—Earl Christensen
2013 Researcher of the Year Award—Aaron Williams
2008 Researcher of the Year Award—Teresa Alleman
2006 Innovation Award—Bob McCormick
2005 Researcher of the Year Award—Bob McCormick
2017 Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award—Jason Lustbader
2011 Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award—John Rugh
2010 Outstanding Oral Presentation Award—John Rugh
2003 Vincent Bendix Automotive Electronics Engineering Award—Ahmad Pesaran