Two Utilities Join the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership
June 20, 2008
DOE announced on June 20 that two electric utility companies, Southern California Edison and DTE Energy (based in Detroit, Michigan), will join the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership in order to address the technical challenge and issues associated with the market introduction and acceptance of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The two companies will examine the interface between PHEVs and the utility grid, as well as the long-term impact of PHEVs on electricity distribution. Ultimately, the research provided by these new members will assist DOE with reaching its goal of making PHEVs cost-competitive with traditional vehicles by 2014 and ready for commercialization by 2016. See the DOE press release.
The FreedomCAR Partnership was established in 2002 as a private-public partnership between DOE and the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which includes Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation. In 2003, it was expanded to form the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership by adding five major energy producers: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell. The new expansion to include utilities reflects the future interdependence of our vehicles, our fuel supply, and our electrical supply. The partnership examines and advances pre-competitive, high-risk research and development to generate the components and fuel infrastructure necessary to enhance the commercialization of a full range of affordable cars and light trucks, including fuel cells, hybrids, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. See the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Web pages on the USCAR Web site and on DOE's Vehicles Technology Program Web site.