Hearings and Business Meetings

SD-366 Energy Committee Hearing Room 02:30 PM

Mr. Tim Leuliette

President and Chief Executive Officer, Metaldyne, Inc.

 

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

 

Statement of Timothy D. Leuliette, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Metaldyne Corporation, Plymouth, Michigan

 

Testimony Before the Full Committee Hearing – Hydrogen

 

July 17, 2006

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify before you today on the need for our nation to move quickly to a hydrogen economy. I am Tim Leuliette, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Metaldyne Corporation. Metaldyne is a leading global designer and supplier of metal-based components, assemblies and modules for transportation related powertrain and chassis applications including engine, transmission/transfer case, wheel-end and suspension, axle and driveline, and noise and vibration control products to the motor vehicle industry. It has annual revenues of $2 billion and over 6,500 employees at 38 facilities in 14 countries around the world.

To put it in a different perspective we are the 69th largest automotive supplier in the world, according to Automotive News.

I have had the privilege of working in the auto industry for more than 30 years, most of which I spent in the supplier community. I have served as president and chief operating officer of Penske Corporation, a closely-held diversified transportation services company managing businesses with annual revenues exceeding $10 billion and more than 33,000 employees at over 200 facilities worldwide. I also was president and chief executive officer of ITT Automotive Inc., and president and chief executive officer of Siemens Automotive L.P. In that position I became a member of the Siemens Automotive Managing Board and a corporate vice president of Siemens AG. I was the first non-German to hold this level of authority in the 143-year history of the electrical and electronics company.

I also held executive positions at Bendix and various engineering and planning positions at Ford Motor Company and American Motors Corporation.

In addition, I have experience in private equity as a former partner in Heartland Industrial Partners, a private equity firm established to acquire and expand industrial companies in sectors ripe for consolidation and growth. Heartland builds value by investing in well-positioned industrial companies, whose talent, technology, assets and market position afford them the opportunity to be a platform for industry consolidation and value-creation.

I also have had the privilege of serving on several boards including Collins & Aikman, TriMas Corporation, Vattikuti Urology Institute of Henry Ford Health Systems, and Karmanos Cancer Institute. I am the past chairman of the board of The Detroit Branch of The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and have strong affiliations with Detroit Renaissance and Junior Achievement.

In these roles I have been witness to, and part of, many restructuring strategies, new business models and makeovers in the automotive industry. These were minor compared to what our industry is working through today. Globalization has thrown the auto industry into a transformation on a scale greater than we have ever witnessed. This globalization in no way resembles what we saw in the 1980s and 1990s when the mature automakers and their suppliers began to build more plants in emerging countries … and in the southern U.S. This globalization is the 21st century kind that will redraw boundaries geographically, politically, economically and socially. It will change our business, our technologies and our relationships.

             

In the end new regions … and companies … will be super-empowered to become superpowers of industry. Our challenge as a nation and as an industry is to play a key role in creating and influencing that structure.

 

To accomplish that, we must quickly create a National Energy Policy that mandates collaboration with every part of the U.S. auto industry to develop new technologies such as hydrogen. That means including suppliers and all automakers, both domestic and foreign-based with a strong U.S. presence, in the national debate on hydrogen. As a nation and an industry we cannot afford to allow politics and competitive concerns freeze out companies, people or regions to stand in the way.

 

The National Energy Policy must transcend elections, political parties and corporate boundaries to meet the needs of the consumer, the environment and national security. I commend this Committee on the collaborative business model it set as it worked in a bi-partisan manner to promote energy policy.

 

As GM’s head of research Larry Burns has said “the biggest risk of all is to sit on the sidelines and not try to create this future.” There’s plenty of precedent, he noted, for a society-wide effort. The Panama Canal, the Manhattan Project and the moon missions of the 1960s all involved public funds and private partners. And all produced dramatic results.

 

The same can be accomplished with the Hydrogen Title. We must begin building a national consensus for its necessity then fund aggressive research programs aimed at moving the relevant technologies toward commercial viability, and keep them in the U.S.

 

Role of Automotive Suppliers and the Need to Include Them in the National Debate

The stated purpose of the Hydrogen Title is to:

  • to enable and promote comprehensive development, demonstration, and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technology in partnership with industry
  • ?to build a mature hydrogen economy that creates fuel diversity in the massive transportation sector of the United States
  • ?to sharply decrease the dependency of the United States on imported oil, eliminate most emissions from the transportation sector, and greatly enhance the nation’s energy security.

 

Accomplishing these goals requires a comprehensive "partnership with industry."  Unfortunately, no such partnership exists between the federal government and the automotive industry because current programs fail to include two-thirds of the auto industry… the supplier community.

 

?According to the most recent statistics released by Motor Equipment Manufactures Association (MEMA) in June 2006:

  • U.S. automotive suppliers (parts manufacturers) are a $384 billion industry ($199.2 billion of the market consists of Original Equipment and $184.7 billion consists of the Aftermarket, which are the components used to repair and service vehicles once they are already out on the road.
  • Overall, the U.S. automotive supplier industry employs more than 1.2 million people at over 11,500 domestic plant locations across the country.
  • There are 2.9 jobs in the auto supply chain for every 1 assembly (automaker) job and supplier products account for more than two-thirds of the content on each new vehicle.

 

This is a large, nationally and globally influential group that must play a leading role in this initiative. ?Yet, despite their weight in terms of employment, facilities and capital investment, suppliers have no formal or direct ability to participate in the federal government's hydrogen program (FreedomCAR). They can only bid for grants and projects under the EERE Vehicle Technologies Program, which focuses more on hybrid components and short term gains in fuel efficiency. They also don’t have a seat at the table in the Congressional and national debate on hydrogen policy.

 

This is not only an oversight; it is a huge mistake that will extend the timeline to achieving the Hydrogen Economy by decades. There is a misconception that suppliers simply build systems, components and parts to automaker specifications. In reality suppliers play a key role in automotive R&D and innovation. According to a recent NSF report, the auto industry spent $16.9 billion on R&D in the U.S. in 2003. Of that, supplier R&D accounted for $6.9 billion, or 40%.

 

Let’s take a look behind the numbers and into the DNA of the supplier network. The R&D done by the automakers is often applied R&D. The pure R&D is done by suppliers, and it has been for years. Automakers didn’t develop airbags, suspension systems, anti-lock brakes or windshield wipers that sense the rain and automatically turn on, just to name a few innovations created by suppliers and “applied” by the automakers.

 

Suppliers are used to being nimble, fast and flexible, to serving numerous customers and to delivering new products to the marketplace quickly. They have honed these skills through collaboration within the supplier community and innovative partnerships.

 

Many suppliers already have such programs in place for alternative energy. For example:

  • Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership (FNGP) between Freudenberg & Co. of Germany and NOK Corporation of Japan has been involved in the research and development of advanced fuel cell sealing technology for more than 10 years. Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, FNGP handles the entire group’s manufacturing R&D work, with a portion of the operation focused on automotive and stationary fuel cell development. Originally considered less critical than other parts of the fuel cell tack, sealing technologies have received renewed attention over the past few years.
  • ECD Ovonics and its partners successfully completed a demonstration project to modify a commercial gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle to run on hydrogen utilizing a new low- pressure, metal hydride hydrogen storage system developed and manufactured by Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Systems, LLC, a joint venture between a unit of ChevronTexaco Corp and ECD Ovonics.
  • Delphi Corp., a partner in the U.S. Department of Energy’s advanced fuel cell development program, has exceeded the power density level required to meet the government’s $400 per kilowatt cost goal for fuel cells. Meeting the cost target is essential if fuel cells are to expand beyond their current niche markets into widespread commercial use. At $400 per kilowatt – nearly one-tenth the cost of power-generating fuel cells currently sold on the market – fuel cells would compete with traditional gas turbine and diesel electricity generators and become viable power suppliers for the transportation sector.
  • Siemens is partnering with the University of South Carolina to build and test a prototype diesel engine that runs on hydrogen instead of petroleum.

 

As you can see the supplier community is ready, willing and more than able to play a leading role in the march to the hydrogen economy. It simply needs an avenue to march down and an invitation to the parade. The Hydrogen Technical and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee the Secretary of Energy is establishing to advise the government on hydrogen programs is just that avenue.

 

The committee is to consist of representatives from domestic industry, academia, professional societies, government agencies, federal laboratories, previous advisory panels, and financial, environmental, and other appropriate organizations. I urge this Committee to ensure that DOE makes this group an active participant in its efforts and the creation of future policies and national strategies.

 

I also strongly encourage this Committee to extend membership in the Hydrogen Technical and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee to the automotive supplier industry, to other groups such as SAE and to the entire “domestic” auto industry. We need to include foreign-owned manufacturers with a significant presence in the U.S. (e.g. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Bosch, Denso, etc.)

 

As I’ve outlined this hydrogen strategy, you’re probably asking yourself, why is this guy who heads a nuts and bolts company pushing hydrogen? The answer is simple. The industry and the hydrogen movement need the engineers at Metaldyne and other suppliers to address the tactical issues of hydrogen vehicles. Suppliers are often the inventors of technology and hydrogen is no different.  There is money to be made here and I intend to be sure Metaldyne is at the forefront. As suppliers of powertrain and chassis components and systems we must not only be prepared for new and developing technologies, we must take a leadership role in ensuring the most positive long-term solutions are adopted. That solution is hydrogen.

 

Investment in Hydrogen Technology Is a Jobs and Global Competitiveness Issue

The countries and industries that develop the technologies that move to the hydrogen economy first will see significant job growth. However, none of this will happen overnight.

Many of those jobs will be in the traditional automotive supplier community as well as in new entrepreneurial companies that will continue to grow up as a result of new technology. There will be new R&D and manufacturing jobs. There will be new jobs created to develop and build new alternative energy distribution networks.

 

To attract and maintain these jobs we must create a collaborative environment in the U.S. that will foster the growth of the hydrogen economy. Otherwise there is every reason to believe the jobs will go to other countries with strong R&D networks and aggressive collaborative government / industry programs.

 

We have the resources in this nation to makes the hydrogen economy a reality. For example, Michigan currently is home to GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai R&D centers as well as dozens of supplier R&D centers.  South Carolina formed the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, a state-wide initiative designed to promote the development and use of quality, cost effective and accessible hydrogen fuel cells, and related technologies. Indiana has supported the development of several efforts such as the ForeverGreen Enterprises Inc. construction of a high-technology hydrogen production facility in DeKalb County. The company will manufacture Green Hydrogen from materials that would otherwise be regarded as waste, therefore reducing manufacturing costs and the negative impact this waste would otherwise have on the environment. Our national labs have hydrogen programs going.

 

During a visit to the California Fuel Cell Partnership last year President Bush said “the idea of a hydrogen-powered automobile is not a foolish dream. It is a reality that is going to come to be … Hydrogen has vast potential to dramatically cut our dependence on foreign oil … Investing in new technologies, like hydrogen, will enable our economy to be strong.”

 

I couldn’t agree more that the world is hooked on oil. It’s a life-threatening addiction that is driving countries, companies and individuals to try and kick the habit. This dependence not only threatens to further weaken profits and cost jobs among the U.S. automakers, it is a national security risk to the United States and is wreaking havoc on the global environment.

 

The U.S. is currently struggling with how it will maintain its superpower status and our status as the largest consumer of energy and oil is making it more and more difficult. The only way we are going to gain a competitive advantage is if we solve the energy issue before other countries do and that demands a National Energy Policy and a larger commitment to hydrogen.

 

Washington has committed $1.2 billion to its Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, with the goal of producing commercially viable fuel cell vehicles by 2020 and a major dent in domestic oil usage by 2040. As you know, that is simply too little. I commend this Committee for its strong stand to authorize substantial monies to the hydrogen initiative and encourage the current Administration to move that recommendation forward. The United States can’t be a superpower if it’s out of power. The current plan outlines a timetable 10 times longer than the Manhattan Project and four times longer than putting a man on the moon.

 

In short, there is no unified sense of urgency on a national level to develop a robust, realistic, well-funded energy policy that allows us to thumb our noses at gas stations in the near future.

 

Such a play is essential as the globalization march continues. As China, India and other developing countries embrace free markets and foreign investment, they’re producing hundreds of millions of newly minted middle-class car buyers. In the U.S. we are producing a new person every 12 seconds, and each one of them will need a car.  Between now and 2020, the number of vehicles worldwide likely will rise from 750 million to more than a billion.

 

We can’t keep up with the oil consumption needed to run those vehicles. The International Energy Agency says that in its base line year of 2002 the world consumed 78 million barrels of oil daily and had a production capacity of 80 million barrels a day. By 2015 the agency estimates that the world will be consuming 103 million barrels a day, and 119 million barrels a day by 2025.

 

The catch is the world cannot meet the demand.

 

Boone Pickens says worldwide production of oil is 84 million barrels a day and is never going any higher … that is unless we find the capital investment money needed to search under new sands and seas for untapped reserves.

 

So if we add the expected 300 million vehicles to the mix, and the result could be a “super spike,” with the price of a barrel of crude, at least for a time, exceeding $100. That $100 a barrel price tag would have a devastating impact on the Midwest, and ultimately, the nation.

 

A recent study by the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the National Resources Defense Council called “In the Tank” says that at $80 to $100 a barrel … the equivalent of $2.86 to $3.37 at the pump … Detroit’s Big Three automakers would see their sales fall 9-14 percent, a decline of 1.9 to 3 million vehicles. That would mean an industry-wide drop of $11.2 to $17.6 billion in pre-tax profits.

 

In addition, 16 factories, mostly in the Midwest, could close and at least 297,000 jobs would be on the line, 37 percent of which are in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

It should be noted that the week of July 4 the U.S. consumers paid an average of 3.9 cents more than the week before, or $2.97 a gallon, the second-highest level ever, the government said Monday. The national pump price for regular unleaded gasoline is up 65 cents from a year ago and not far from the record $3.07 reached last September after Hurricane Katrina disrupted petroleum supplies, according to the federal Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of 800 service stations.          

Depending on fuel prices and consumer incentives, sales of hybrids and advanced diesels are likely to go from about 100,000 units this year to as many as 1.8 million by about 2010.  Initially, most of these vehicles will be imported.  Since advanced diesel engines under about 5 liters will displace many gasoline engines, and since full hybrids don’t use conventional transmissions, Michigan and Ohio – and to a lesser extent Indiana – stand to be major losers unless production of these vehicles, or at least their powertrains, are produced in this area. 

 

Specifically, if 1.8 million “HADs” … that is hybrids and advanced diesel vehicles … are sold by the end of the decade, these three states stand to lose more than 66,000 jobs, nearly one-third of the U.S. total of 207,000 potentially lost jobs, according to Fuel-Saving Technologies and Facility Conversion: Costs, Benefits, and Incentives.

 

These statistics drive home the need for a collaborative strategy that attracts not only hybrid technology but ensures future alternative energy powertrains and vehicles are developed and manufactured in this country. If the U.S. truly wants to be player in 2020 there must be a strong, doable national plan for hydrogen.  Hydrogen is the most abundant, environmentally friendly fuel source in the universe and it is the way of the future.

 

We need to follow a four-step plan to reduce our dependency on oil. The first two we can do in the automotive industry. The second two require political action.

 

·         First, establish a well-funded and powerful industry consortium made up of all the major stakeholders … automakers, suppliers and labor.

  • Second, establish a hydrogen-powered vehicle design team to set industry practice and design rules.
  • Third, set a national target that 80 percent of the vehicles sold in the United States and 100 percent of the imported vehicles are hydrogen-powered by 2025.
  • Fourth, provide federal customer incentives, research dollars and funding for infrastructure issues by imposing a gas tax and/or by alternative means that include investment by public and private equity.

 

Capturing the Interest of the American People – Educating the Public on Hydrogen

One of the hydrogen economy’s greatest challenges is moving the public away from its fascination with hybrid and ethanol vehicles. That will require a collaborative effort among all stakeholders – government, automakers, suppliers, unions – to educate people on the benefits of hydrogen and the need to quickly move to that technology.

 

The timing is right. A CNN poll conducted in early May found that 60% of adults thought seriously about purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle because of the skyrocketing price of gasoline.

The message is simple. Hybrids and ethanol, while good and necessary intermediary steps to hydrogen, are not long-term solutions to our dependency on oil. There are many studies out today that are either pro or con when it comes to these forms of alternative energy. The most important thing is that they are being discussed in many forums and are generating conversation and public awareness. That can only help create more conversation about the need to move more quickly to the hydrogen solution.

Hybrid vehicles might actually use more fuel than a normal car. They run on full gasoline at highway speeds because the ECU detects highway long journeys might drain the battery too fast. In addition, the gasoline in hybrids relatively small and therefore has to work harder and use more fuel compared to a conventional powered vehicle with a larger more potent engine.

There are other disadvantages. The metals in the nickel-metal hybrid battery currently used in hybrid vehicles are 25 times more expensive than lead. Nickel has been identified as a carcinogen. Hybrid vehicles have not been on the road long enough to allow the batteries to prove their projected cycle life. No significant recycling capability exists.

Ethanol also is not a long-term cure. According to scientists in New York and California, it takes more energy to make ethanol than you get back in fuel savings. More precisely, says David Pimentel of Cornell University, it takes the equivalent of 1.29 gallons of gasoline to produce enough ethanol to replace one gallon of gasoline at the pump. Instead of making the nation more energy self-sufficient, ethanol production actually increases our need for oil and gas imports, he says. Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants.

"The United State desperately needs a liquid fuel replacement for oil in the near future," says Pimentel, "but producing ethanol or biodiesel from plant biomass is going down the wrong road, because you use more energy to produce these fuels than you get out from the combustion of these products."

In a recent paper in the journal Natural Resources Research, he calculates it takes the energy equivalent of 271 gallons of gasoline to grow a hectare (about 2.47 acres) of corn. Part of that energy is for tractor fuel, but the biggest use is for manufacturing nitrogen fertilizers, which are mandatory for high-yield corn-growing. These fertilizers are made by heating natural gas under controlled circumstances so that it reacts with nitrogen in the air. Not only does it take heat to do this, but it uses up natural gas that could have been burned as fuel. Pimentel estimates that in corn-growing, nitrogen fertilizers alone use the equivalent of 80 gallons of gasoline per hectare.

Another study done at the Universite Laval in Quebec, Quebec, in 2004 says E85 costs substantially more to operate annually. For example, the annual cost to use E85 in a Chrysler Sebring convertible was $1323 in 2004 U.S. dollars, compared with $900 for gasoline.

While this study and others are heavily questioned by pro-ethanol groups the positive side is that they are generating conversation and public awareness. That can only help create more conversation about need to move more quickly to the hydrogen solution.

 

A National Strategy on Hydrogen – How Private Equity Can Help Fund This Needed Transition to a New Energy Source

The Hydrogen Title directed the Secretary of Energy to draft a coordinated plan for the programs that are directly related to fuel cells or hydrogen. The plan was required to describe the national agenda for the next five years for the programs and the milestones that will be used to evaluate the programs for the next five years. This strategy could attract substantial interest from private equity if the Secretary’s plan lays out a solid platform, a strong roadmap and timeline and provides the underlying stability needed from the federal government. 

 

Attracting private equity is key to quickly moving the hydrogen economy forward. The federal government does not have the funds. Private equity does. In 2004 there was approximately $100 billion of undeployed private equity funds in U.S. and €39 billion in Europe, according to Jay Alix, president of Alix Partners, a private equity firm with substantial investments in the auto industry.

 

“Enormous new markets are developing through the commercialization of energy technologies,” said M.Grier Eliasek, managing director of Prospect Street Ventures, a leading private equity and merchant banking firm focused on investing in energy companies. “We believe these markets offer excellent opportunities for private equity investment, and we are actively pursuing a number of such opportunities at this time. In an economy in which many sectors are struggling for growth, energy technology represents a robust, rapidly growing market.”

 

Several firms have shown interest in several forms of alternative energy as concerns about peak oil supply, skyrocketing oil and natural gas prices and national security issues heat up. In fact, the energy component is the fastest growing clean technology and makes up more than 70% of investments in the clean technology industry, Tucker Twitmyer, managing partner with Philadelphia-based EnerTech, a venture capital firm focused on energy technologies, said in a recent Knowledge @ Wharton article.

 

The article also points out that the window of opportunity for investment in clean technology has never been more robust. According to the 2006 Cleantech Venture Capital Report on North American venture capital investing, up to 3% of all venture capital was used for clean technology during the dot.com bubble from 1999-2001. That rose to 5-6% from 2002-2005 and the study suggests that it will jump to 10% of all VC investment by 2009. That amounts to between $6.2 billion to $8.8 billion invested as venture capital firms go to the markets to raise capital in an estimated 1,000 rounds between 2006 and 2009, the article said.

 

Following are some example of venture capital investments in clean energy:

  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer has backed a handful of clean tech companies, including Miasole, a San-Jose based solar technology firm. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is one of KPCB’s general partners.
  • EnerTech, which invests in power and energy consumption, manages $290 million, 80% of which is in clean energy.
  • New Energy Capital (NEC) in New Hampshire is financing renewable and efficient energy projects from wind power to geothermal to biofuels.
  • Goldman Sachs owns wind farm projects through its acquisition of Horizon Wind Energy
  • Yellowstone Energy Ventures has made minority investments in public and private companies involved in alternative energy and renewable energy technologies. It has invested in several fuel cell companies including Protonex Technology Corporation, which is developing fuel cells with emphasis on military applications, and Cellex, which is a leader in fuel cell power solutions for industrial vehicles.
  • Virent Energy Systems, a University of Wisconsin spin-off, just received $7.5 million in venture capital from Cargill Ventures. Virent is trying to develop a cost-effective way to generate hydrogen fuel from water and sugar in a one step process as part of a car’s engine or an electrical generator.

 

Challenges Facing the Auto Industry

The U. S. auto industry is going through a transformation unlike anything we have witnessed before. This transformation has been in the offing for more than 25 years, ever since the first oil crisis in the early 1970s.  Since then the traditional domestic auto industry has been teetering on the edge of the cliff only to be drawn back by the deceitful business cycle of improved sales, better profits and the promise of diversification success we’ve come to expect over and over again. This time the consumer is driving the transformation and many companies are not prepared because they didn’t learn from the past and adjust their strategies accordingly.

 

That said we need to remember in all this that the auto business is strong, vibrant and growing. We have had record or near record annual sales in the U.S. since the turn of the century. The difference is the competition is stronger … and there’s more of it. The U.S. auto market now looks more like the European market with 8-10 major companies vying for business instead of three companies – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – dominating the market.

 

This transformation is good and necessary … for the industry and the U.S.  It is a form of creative destruction that is driving home a sense of urgency to develop the right product, be flexible, embrace change and learn from the past. As economist Joseph Schumpeter said creative destruction is the process of replacing good things with better things. This creative destruction has shaken the auto industry to the core and instills a sense of urgency to change … to find and embrace new, more innovative business models and technologies that require working together.

 

Industry, government and public and private investors need to have that same sense of urgency about the pace at which this nation moves toward a hydrogen economy. There is no time to waste.  The product development decisions being made today are for vehicles that will be built 10 years from now. Companies are not only deciding what vehicles they will build … you can bet many will be alternatively fueled … but where they will build them and where their systems and components will be sourced. The only way to ensure those vehicles are built in the U.S. is to develop a robust, innovative and comprehensive national energy policy that requires collaboration among all domestic industry (automakers and suppliers), academia, professional societies, government agencies, federal laboratories, previous advisory panels, and financial, environmental, and other appropriate organizations.

 

Conclusion

The auto industry, which has long been the bedrock of the U.S. economy, is at a crossroads and must adopt a new business model that will weave its collective expertise into a single fabric. This new model requires collaboration at all levels – manufacturing, technology, and research and development. This new business model will be based on realistic relationships that will meld cultures, philosophies and technologies and prepare us for a new future that will be nothing like we’ve seen before.

 

Developing alternative energy sources that will decrease the U.S. dependence on petroleum imports is key to developing that new business model. To accomplish that we must collaborate and share information – without jeopardizing competitive advantages for companies. The technological challenges facing the industry and the nation today are more than any single company can achieve without extraordinarily large financial expenditures within a reasonable timeframe. The problem requires a national effort that pools the resources of the federal government, all sectors of the automotive industry and public and private investors to move the U.S. to a hydrogen economy faster and more efficiently.

 

There is simply no future in the status quo and there can be no status quo in our future.