FreedomCAR and Fuel Technical Partnership Technical Goals

To measure progress toward the long-term vision, the partners have identified a number of technology-specific goals for the years 2010 and 2015. The Partnership focuses on component, subsystem, and infrastructure technologies to achieve these goals. As business cases for the technologies can be established, industry partner companies will make independent decisions concerning commercialization.

Technology-Specific 2010 and 2015 Goals1

This section summarizes the key technical goals for the 2010 and 2015 time frames. The technical teams will establish additional goals and milestones as appropriate.

  • To ensure reliable systems for future fuel cell powertrains with costs comparable to conventional internal combustion engine/automatic transmission systems, the goals are:
    • Electric propulsion system with a 15-year life capable of delivering at least 55 kilowatts (kW) for 18 seconds, and 30 kW continuous at a system cost of $12/kW peak
    • 60% peak energy-efficient, durable fuel cell power system (including hydrogen storage) that achieves a 325 watts per kilogram (W/kg) power density and 220 watts per liter (W/L) operating on hydrogen. Cost targets are at $45/kW by 2010 ($30/kW by 2015)2
  • To enable clean, energy-efficient vehicles operating on clean, hydrocarbon-based fuels powered by either internal-combustion powertrains or fuel cells, the goals are:
    • Internal combustion engine powertrain systems costing $30/kW, having a peak brake engine efficiency of 45%, and that meet or exceed emissions standards
    • Fuel cell systems, including a fuel reformer, having a peak brake engine efficiency of 45%, and that meet or exceed emissions standards with a cost target of $45/kW by 2010 and $30/kW in 2015 2,3
  • To enable reliable hybrid electric vehicles that are durable and affordable, the goal is:
    • Electric drivetrain energy storage with 15-year life at 300 Whr per vehicle with discharge power of 25 kW for 18 seconds and $20/kW
  • To enable the transition to a hydrogen economy, ensure widespread availability of hydrogen fuels, and retain the functional characteristics of current vehicles, the goals are:
    • Demonstrated hydrogen refueling with developed commercial codes and standards and diverse renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. Targets: 70% energy efficiency well-to-pump; cost of energy from hydrogen equivalent to gasoline at market price, assumed to be $1.50 per gallon (2001 dollars) 4
    • Onboard hydrogen storage systems demonstrating specific energy of 2.0 kWh/kg (6 weight percent hydrogen), and energy density of 1.5 kWh/liter at a cost of $4/kWh by 2010 and specific energy of 3.0 kWh/kg (9 weight percent hydrogen), 2.7 kWh/liter, and $2.00/kWh by 2015
    • Internal combustion engine powertrain systems operating on hydrogen with a cost target of $45/kW by 2010 and $30/kW in 2015, having a peak brake engine efficiency of 45%, and that meet or exceed emissions standards.
  • To enable lightweight vehicle structures and systems, the goal is:
    • Material and manufacturing technologies for high-volume production vehicles that enable or support the simultaneous attainment of:
      • 50% reduction in weight of vehicle structure and subsystems
      • Affordability, and
      • Increased use of recyclable/renewable materials.


  1. Cost references based on CY 2001 dollar values. Where power (kW) targets are specified, those targets are to ensure that technology challenges that would occur in a range of light-duty vehicle types would have to be addressed.
  2. Does not include vehicle traction electronics
  3. Includes fuel cell stack subsystem, fuel processor subsystem and auxiliaries; does not include fuel tank
  4. Targets are for hydrogen dispensed to a vehicle assuming a reforming, compressing and dispensing system capable of dispensing 150 kg per day (assuming 60,000 SCF per day of natural gas is fed for reforming at the retail dispensing station) and servicing a fleet of 300 vehicles per day (assuming 0.5 kg used in each vehicle per day). Targets are also based on several thousand stations, and possibly demonstrated on several hundred stations. Technologies may also include chemical hydrides such as sodium borohydride.
  5. Based on lower heating value of hydrogen; allows over 300-mile range

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Interim Milestones

Interim goals and milestones to measure progress toward accomplishing the 2010 and 2015 goals have been established. A partial list of interim milestones follows in the graphic below and can be found in the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Plan. Technical progress will be assessed by the achievement of technical milestones for individual technologies and by validation.

  1. Pre-production prototypes of the Automotive Integrated Power Module completed (first quarter 2003)
  2. DOE Fuel Cell Advanced Fuel Processing Go/No-Go Decision and Technology Downselect to meet 2010 targets (third quarter 2004)
  3. Full-scale lithium-ion battery pack demonstrated via Hardware-in-the Loop (fourth quarter 2004)
  4. Validate fuel cell interim cost target of $125/kW (fourth quarter, 2005)
  5. Intermediate, integrated series electric drive system technology validated (second quarter 2006)
  6. DOE Downselect advanced hydrogen storage concepts showing potential to meet 2010 targets (fourth quarter 2006)
  7. Durable nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emission control technologies validated (fourth quarter 2006)
  8. Hardware-in-the-Loop testing of advanced energy storage device completed (fourth quarter 2006)
  9. Demonstrate integrated hydrogen refueling stations using advanced components to meet interim.



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