But Gerth cautions that working with the alliance does not guarantee that a manufacturer’s technology will ultimately make its way into a finished vehicle. “I think it’s important to point out that this is primarily a research and technology transfer alliance, not a procurement action,” Gerth says. “Manufacturers can work with us to develop the research and demonstrate the technology through use on an actual vehicle, but if we buy something, it will ultimately be the manufacturer’s responsibility to get that technology in the supply chain of an OEM.”
The AVPTA’s first official event, the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Workshop, took place July 18 and 19 in Detroit, where the alliance will be based. The workshop brought together experts from various fields to lay the groundwork for the alliance’s strategy, and participants included Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal.
“The fact that we had this caliber of speakers in attendance gives you the sense that the Department of Energy and the Department of Army are very interested in this technology and the fruits of what this technology can bring to our war fighters,” Huffman says.