We seek energy sources that are affordable, readily available, clean in terms of environmental concerns, and sustainable. Although automobiles emit far less unwanted emissions than in the past, personal transportation is challenged in that nonrenewable petroleum, which supplies about a third of the world’s energy needs, is used almost exclusively for transportation purposes. Great progress has been made in recent years relative to traction battery technology, as exemplified by the Chevy Volt extended range electric vehicle (EREV) coming to market. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) are now technically viable as well. Both EREVs and FCEVs require us to consider infrastructure needs in addition to reducing the propulsion and energy storage system costs. At this time it is difficult to discern the best long term solution to the personal transportation challenge. In this talk, we shall relate global energy issues, trends in personal transportation, and electrochemical energy storage technologies.
Mark Verbrugge is the Director of GM’s Chemical Sciences and Materials Systems Laboratory, which maintains global research programs—enabled by the disciplines of chemistry, physics, and materials science—and targets the advanced development of structural subsystems, energy storage devices, and various technologies associated with fuels, lubricants, and emissions.
Dr. Verbrugge is a Board Member of the United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC, and an adjunct professor for the Department of Physics, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Verbrugge has received a number of GM internal awards as well as external awards including the ECS Norman Hackerman Young Author Award (1990) and the ECS Energy Technology Award (1993), as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Council for Automotive Research in 2006. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009.