The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) is a national initiative with three goals: First, to significantly improve national competitiveness in manufacturing; second, to implement commercially viable innovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles, and third, to develop a vehicle to achieve up to three times the fuel efficiency of today's comparable vehicle (ie, the 1994 Chrysler Concorde, Ford Taurus, and Chevrolet Lumina). Note this vehicle will have the equivalent customer purchase price of today's vehicles adjusted for economics, while meeting the customers' needs for quality, performance, and utility. Eight federal agencies are currently contributing to these goals, as well as the three principal US automobile manufacturers, numerous automotive component suppliers, research laboratories, and universities.
Materials research and development is a significant effort within PNGV. The goals in this area include development of lightweight, recyclable materials for structural applications, high strength, long-life, high temperature materials for engine components, improved materials for alternative propulsion and energy storage systems, and cost-effective process technologies and component fabrication methods. Application of advanced materials to automobiles will involve consideration of diverse factors, including weight savings, affordability, recyclability, crashworthiness, repairability, and manufacturability.