DOE Hosts French Truck Executive Delegation
January 22, 2004
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP) hosted a delegation of government and industry representatives from France in a series of meetings designed to provide them with an overview of the Partnership's organization and activities. The visit was requested by the French, who are in the early stages of creating a similar partnership in their own country.
The group included representatives from Renault (Truck Division), the French Ministry of Transportation, the French Ministry of Energy Savings and Management, and several different French transportation research initiatives. With the continued globalization of automobile- and truck-building companies, as well as engine manufacturers, the opportunity for expanding the 21CTP collaboration with a European Union nation was recognized.
The visiting industry representatives were Jean-Paul Fayolle, Head of Engine Research, and Bernard Favre, Head of Advanced Engineering 3P, both of Renault Vehicules Industriels (Renault Trucks). French government representatives included Michel Muffat (Project Officer for Urban Transit and Transport) and Roger Pagny (Project Officer for Intelligent Trucks) both of DRAST — the French Department of Transportation; Gabriel Plassat, Heavy Duty Engines R&D in ADEME — the Agency for Environment and Energy Management; and Bernard Duhem, Director of Research for PREDIT — an organization with oversight for the overall French transportation research plan.
The group began their visit on Tuesday, January 13, at Mack Truck's Hagerstown, MD facility, where they heard the industry perspective on 21CTP, and learned about technical projects jointly undertaken with the government under 21CTP auspices. They were joined there by DOE's 21CTP Director Ken Howden together with Gurpreet Singh and Roland Gravel of DOE's Engines and Emissions Control Technologies Program. Skip Yeakel, Director of Government and Industry Relations for Volvo Trucks, North America, also attended and focused discussion on mounting security concerns inherent in the mobility afforded by truck freight in the world's economy.
The delegation members attended the 21CTP Industry Working Group Meeting held the following day, where they learned more about the Partnership and observed the government/industry collaboration in action.
The delegation wrapped up its visit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's National Transportation Research Center on January 15. Presentations described the DOE national laboratory network and the diversity of expertise and complementary research and development distributed among the national labs, with tours providing in-depth looks at work in power electronics, engines and emissions control, fuels, advanced materials, and systems-related issues in truck safety and intelligent heavy vehicles.
Both the French delegation and U.S. participants say that the visit exceeded expectations. A reciprocal visit by a U.S. team is under consideration.