Government-Industry Partnerships

ORNL actively participates in government-industry partnerships to accelerate the development of new technologies that improve the fuel efficiency, safety, and emissions of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles. These partnerships connect ORNL researchers with industry leaders and encourage a continuous dialogue about the technical needs of the industry and the most beneficial targets for research and development. The 21st Century Truck Partnership and U.S. DRIVE are the most prominent of these collaborative efforts.


U.S. DRIVE stands for Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability. This partnership focuses on accelerating innovation for light-duty automotive and related infrastructure technologies.

The U.S. DRIVE facilitates discussion, collaboration, and the development of jointly-held technical goals. These efforts drive the creation of advanced technologies with industry-wide impact and eliminate duplication of efforts among partners.

The U.S. DRIVE members include the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Council for Automotive Research LLC, BP, Chevron, Chrysler, DTE Energy, Edison, EPRI, Ford, GM, Phillips, Shell, and Tesla.

21st Century Truck Partnership

More than 2 million tractor trailer trucks travel America’s highways hauling as much as 80% of the country’s consumer goods. Though heavy-duty vehicles make up only 4% of vehicles on the road, they account for 20% of the fuel consumption. Medium-duty trucks also play an essential role in freight movement and other functions such as improving our roads and collecting refuse. Increasing the fuel efficiency of these vehicles could save the U.S. billions of gallons of fuel each year.

The 21st Century Truck Partnership is addressing the technical needs of the trucking industry and the policy goals of government agencies through information exchange and collaborative research. The Partnership accelerates the development of new technologies that benefit the entire industry.

Government partners include the U.S. Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Industry partners include Allison Transmission, BAE Systems, Caterpillar, Cummins, Daimler-Detroit Diesel, Eaton, Honeywell, Mack, Meritor, Nova Bus, Oshkosh, Paccar, and Volvo.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy