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DOE Releases RFI to Achieve Off-Road Transportation Decarbonization

DOE Releases RFI to Achieve Off-Road Transportation Decarbonization
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced on May 7, 2024, the release of the “Progression of Net-Zero Emission Propulsion Technologies for the Off-Road Sector Request for Information” (RFI). Jointly released with DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), the purpose of the RFI is to understand the off-road sector alternative propulsion technology preferences, technologies that seem most promising, and the key barriers to achieving the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. According to BETO, recognizing that the off-road transportation sector generates ten percent of U.S. transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the RFI aims to collect knowledge from stakeholders to guide actions regarding future propulsion technologies, research and infrastructure investments, and coordination to ensure the off-road sector is meeting or exceeding U.S. decarbonization milestones. To develop a national strategy to decarbonize the sector, BETO states that three critical questions must be addressed:

  • What is the current state of the off-road vehicle fleet?
  • Which powertrain technologies are the most promising for decarbonization of off-road vehicles?
  • What is the timeline for the off-road sector to transition to net-zero emission GHG technologies?

The propulsion technologies under consideration for the RFI are biodiesel, renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, battery electric, direct electrification (catenary), electric hybridization, hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines, and hydrogen fuel cells. BETO notes that currently, “no one alternative propulsion technology is a clear choice for decarbonization of this sector.” Responses must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word (.docx) attachments to CleanMachines@ee.doe.gov by 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on June 7, 2024.

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