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How Fast Can Transportation Move Into The Future?

By Ideas Lab Staff October 10, 2012

At a recent event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a panel discussed the way forward for transportation fuels and vehicle technologies.

A request from Energy Secretary Stephen Chu on the future of transportation formed the basis of the report “Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future”, produced by the National Petroleum Council, which took in analysis and interviews with more than 300 participants over two years.

Transportation in America, the Council found, is experiencing changes that could speed up if fuel and vehicle technologies move forward too.

“If the technology and infrastructure barriers identified by the study can be
overcome, the scale and effects of this transition will yield incremental and cumulative
gains for America,” the report finds.

The CSIS panel comprised of Linda Capuano, from Marathon Oil Corporation, Stephen Brand, a senior executive adviser to Welltec Inc., and Puneet Verma, of Chevron, who outlined the findings for the event.

Verma outlined a key finding that fuel economy can be “dramatically improved in light and heavy sectors through the advancement and application of existing and new technology”.

One of the areas that demonstrated the most dramatic impact in fuel economy, Verma says, is “power train hybridization and electrification” – that could produce up to 100 percent improvement for hybrid electric vehicles and 400 percent for battery electric vehicles.

For a video of the CSIS event, click here.

The White House recently hosted an Energy Datapalooza, which Secretary Chu, among others, wrote would demonstrate how private-sector entrepreneurs were creating jobs and saving Americans money by “using open data as their fuel”.