VW/Audi Management Failures – Argonne and Interoperability Centre Can Help!


Picture Credit: EU’s European Interoperability Centre

IAI believes that management failures-by-design (FbD)  [NO, not the band on YouTube here] represent “anti-innovation.” Car and Driver reported that General Motors and Toyota had their massive scandals. Now it’s Volkswagen’s turn– the owner of 70 percent of the U.S. passenger-car diesel market systematically cheated on diesel-emissions tests. From 2008-2015, VW falsified emissions reports on 11 MILLION “clean diesel” vehicles and now VW admits “emissions issues” on its Audi vehicles too (the Verge reports)!

It’s time for clean fuel vehicles with accurately reported, independent emissions testing ! The industry response is uneven, to be sure but with some meaningful progress. In contrast, ANL and IC plus a number of commercial enterprises like Tesla, GM, Ford (improving the 100 mile range Focus should be where small car production should remain in the US- more anti-innovation), Mercedes (new line!), Jaguar, and Toyota (for example) are innovating to address the challenges associated with developing improved vehicle drivetrain designs, use of new materials, employing cleaner fuels, adopting adaptive manufacturing and pioneering better processes to support our Green planet’s transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future. The transport sector now accounts for about a quarter (7.3 Gt) of annual global energy-related CO2 emissions (32 Gt), yet at 3.5%, it has the lowest renewable energy usage of any major component, confirmed by the UN “Care for the Climate” report and C2ES reports that of transportation energy use by mode that 59% comes from light vehicles and 22% from trucks.

Picture Credit: C2ES

Take note, and check your biases at the door, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shaanxi Normal University just forecasted in ScienceDirect that road transportation energy consumption in China is expected soar 50% in the five years from 2015 to 2020 ! (226,181.1 ktoe -2015 to about 347,363 ktoe-2020- twice the EU then and a third above the US and FOUR times India). The EIA, DOE Oak Ridge and the Sustainability Journal have a wealth of information available.)

With a quarter century record of over 600 collaborations, ANL appears to represent a compelling partner for transportation mobility entrepreneurs (ANL Innovation link here). DOE has finally begun to engage in cross-lab collaborations to increase innovation efficiency. An August 2016 collaboration between DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and brings together DOE national laboratories and industry stakeholders to simultaneously conduct tandem fuel and engine research, development, and deployment assessments.

Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories for science and engineering research, employs 3,400 employees, including 1,400 scientists and engineers (75% doctorates). Argonne’s annual operating budget of a three-quarters of a billion dollars supports over 200 research projects. At a recent conference in Ispra, Italy, researchers discussed the “e-mobility” market, transportation electricification, and the importance of transnational vehicle, grid and system interoperability.

ANL’s Center for Transportation Research: Focused on transportation mobility, CTR operates through its system-driven research platforms, some of which are highlighted below:

Transportation Energy Analysis: automated vehicles, connectivity and sensor-based infrastructure and a;dvanced vehicle powertrain configurations;

Vehicle Systems Energy Modeling and Research: developing vehicle-level control algorithms to minimize energy consumption (ECons) and is complimented by next-generation vehicle research on ECons from environmental conditions, driver use profiles and fuels at ANL’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility (APRF);


Picture Credit: ANL Advanced Vehicle Research

EV-Smart Grid Interoperability: engaged in Electric Vehicle (EV) standards development to ensure they are universally interoperable, reliable and simple to charge and working with the EU’s European Interoperability Center since 2013;

Engines and Fuels Optimization: relying on high-performance computing capabilities (via the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility) CTR is evaluating technologies for improved fuel efficiency; the study of renewable and alternative fuels and the characterization of engine particle emissions and catalysis;

CONTACT:  Ann Schlenker, Director, Center for Transportation Research
Phone: 630-252-5542  or   Email: aschlenker@anl.gov

As a non-footnote, but topic for a future IAI blog, Argonne just opened up the exciting I3:

Integrated Imaging Institute (2016): I3 opened recently and now “offers a broad suite of powerful imaging and data analytics capabilities to scientists, providing structural, chemical and functional information from the atomic level to the macroscale.” Argonne’s Integrated Imaging Institute (I3) seeks to build on Argonne’s position as a world leader in experimental and computational imaging science by promoting an integrated, top-down approach to scientific discovery and understanding through imaging.




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