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 History and Background  

Executive Summary

In 1993, Electricore Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was created by the United States Department of Defense under the Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-396; 106 Stat. 1876), to coordinate with other government agencies and private consortia, to encourage and promote the research, development, and deployment of transportation technologies that will use technological advances in multimodal vehicles, vehicle components, environmental technologies, and related infrastructure to remove impediments to an efficient, safe, and cost-effective national transportation system under USC Code Title 49, Subtitle III, Chapter 55, Subchapter I, Section 5506.

Since 1993, Electricore has had a history of successful collaboration among industry and universities for design, demonstration, and deployment of advanced technologies and related activities in private public partnerships with the Departments of Defense, Energy, Transportation and others.  Electricore is a unique consortium among private and public sector organizations, federal agencies, corporations, small businesses, universities, research institutions, and other non-profit entities. Through Electricore, these organizations strive to advance the current state of the art technologies by conducting and coordinating mutually beneficial research and development activities.

From 1993 to the present, the Electricore consortium has developed and managed over 70 multi-partnered research programs ultimately involving 50 industry and universities in collaborative relationships with total project funding of over $200 million. 

Background

In May 1992, Representative Vic Fazio (CA) introduced H.R. 5107, calling for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) administered five-year Electric Vehicle / Hybrid Electric Vehicle (EV/HEV) infrastructure program of $50 million for each of the fiscal years 1993 to 1997.  The program was initially designed to create pilot programs throughout the country, any of which could receive no more than one quarter of the appropriated funds.  The final bill earmarked $25 million for fiscal year 1993 and was included in the United States Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-396; 106 Stat. 1876).  Seven regional non-profit 501(c)(3) consortia were established under this program for the purposes of coordinating, managing, and sponsoring advanced technology research, development and demonstration programs in the areas of Electronics, Transportation and Energy for the public good.

The first request for proposals from consortia was released for fiscal year 1993, with Electricore being awarded one of the contracts. The first appropriations were sponsored by the consortia’s and their participant’s local Congressional constituencies.  During most of the DARPA program’s existence, Congressionally directed funding was the single major source of consortia project financial support. Congress’s support for the DARPA program included $46 million in fiscal year 1994 and tailed off to $15 million per year in fiscal years 1996 through 1998.  This funding was leveraged at a minimum 1:1 ratio with private funding giving the government and taxpayers excellent value in the initial investment.

Over time, the program’s goals were broadened to include creating a production infrastructure for supporting technologies.  Between fiscal years 1994 through 1998, the DARPA program remained a success and included a gradual evolution from geo-centric operation to research agenda orientation among the regional consortia.  The key element of consortia diversity was maintained throughout the program - including funding for Small Businesses, Disadvantaged Businesses and Universities. 

In 1999, the DARPA program was transferred to Department of Transportation oversight as the Advanced Vehicle Program (AVP), but DARPA has maintained cooperation and input.  Electricore remained committed to the DoT program but also began seeking new opportunities to apply this model for successful public-private partnerships to address other technology challenges.

During the life cycle of the Electricore EV/HEV program a variety of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and related technologies were developed, including:

• Rapid charging and energy disbursement for energy storage
• Battery management systems
• Distributed power trains 
• Hybrid and electric buses 

Today, many local municipalities have entire fleets of alternative power vehicles that were created through Electricore’s efforts.  The Electricore consortium efforts have also resulted in key technological breakthroughs that are directly responsible for the new commercial hybrid and battery electric vehicles being introduced to the marketplace today.  These breakthroughs are also penetrating the military and being used in new vehicle and other power generation programs to reduce battlefield fuel consumption.