Feb 4, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
The National Renewable Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado has been involved for many years in advanced automotive technology research. NREL began in the 1970s as the Solar Energy Research Institute; its second director was Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day and Sun Day (see summary below).
The lab has now set up a basic PHEV overview page on its website. http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/hev/plugins.htmlhttp://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/hev/plugins.html Soon, this page will provide links to several NREL publications on PHEV assessment. currently in development.
One of the linked pages http://www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/projects_analysis.html says, "plug-in hybrids hold great promise for providing the first major alternative to nearly total dependence on petroleum for transportation fuel."
We hope that as a by-product of the Advanced Energy Initiative the President announced, NREL will accelerate even further its work on PHEVs.
At the same time, it's a source of concern to everyone that the lab is simultaneously facing up to $25 million in budget cuts and layoffs in many of its crucial programs....
From its "about" page:
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency R&D.
Established in 1974, NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute. It was designated a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in September 1991 and its name changed to NREL.
NREL is the principal research laboratory for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy which provides the majority of its funding. Other funding comes from DOE's Office of Science and Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution.