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Program Assessment


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Vehicle Technologies

The program develops energy efficient highway transportation technologies that enable reduced petroleum use. It funds research, development, demonstration, technical assistance, and education carried out by national labs, universities, and private companies.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program coordinates well with industry. More than half of program funding supports the FreedomCAR Partnership with the U.S. auto industry. Most of the remaining funding supports the program's 21st Century Truck Partnership with truck engine manufacturers, suppliers, and other agencies. Joint technical teams and committees help guide management decisions.
  • Independent peer reviews have largely been positive. In 2005, the National Research Council (NRC) conducted the first review of the program's FreedomCAR activities and reported progress in program management and communication across many activities. The NRC recommended some management improvements, including emphasis on setting priorities.
  • This program and other applied research and development programs at the Department of Energy are working to improve their estimates of potential program benefits and use that information to guide budget decisions. The program has made significant progress, but estimates are not yet comparable between programs.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Setting priorities and identifying decision points to focus resources on solving the most critical problems to commercialization of technologies that can reduce petroleum consumption.
  • Developing guidance that specifies a consistent framework for analyzing the costs and benefits of research and development investments, and using this information to guide budget decisions.

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The content on is developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Federal agencies.