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About Oak Ridge National Laboratory

As DOE's largest multi-program science and energy laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory possesses scientific and technical capabilities that span basic and applied research in fields ranging from fundamental nuclear physics to applied research and development on advanced energy systems. The Tennessee lab's mission is to deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs that will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions in clean energy and global security, thereby creating economic opportunity for the nation. Payroll and procurement tops $1 billion annually.


Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Sustainable Transportation Program brings together science and technology experts from across scientific disciplines to partner with government and industry in addressing transportation challenges. Research objectives are consistent with America’s energy initiative to reduce its dependency on foreign oil and deliver consumers affordable, environmentally friendly transportation choices. ORNL researchers are addressing barriers to effective use of non-petroleum-based fuels through the advancement of bio-based products and natural gas. Developments in energy storage technologies, charging methods, and advanced materials are speeding the deployment of electrified transportation systems. Vehicle efficiency is being advanced through research and development of lightweight materials including low-cost carbon fiber, as well as systems integration of electric propulsion/power electronics and internal combustion engines. ORNL transportation research also encompasses the production of decision-making tools, such as, and the development and deployment of intelligent technologies that enable safer, more efficient movement of passengers and freight.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy established the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) in 2000 in order to bring together existing transportation-related research and development (R&D) capabilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, including advanced combustion, fuels and lubricants, power electronics, electric motors, fuel cells, and analysis. The NTRC was designated as a National User Facility in 2001. Since that time, the NTRC has expanded to include a battery manufacturing R&D facility, vehicle systems integration R&D laboratory, and data visualization/interaction capability.

ORNL has capabilities and facilities to offer assistance on Advanced Batteries: materials, electrodes and cells; performance and safety testing; modeling; Electric Drive Motors: innovative motor materials, design, construction, or testing; Electric Drive Power Electronics: testing innovative devices, materials or topologies; Vehicle Systems: component simulation, testing; charging infrastructure, interoperability, grid integration; HVAC load reduction; Advanced Combustion Engines: sensors, ignition systems, combustion/emission control submodel development; Lightweight Material: structures Al, Mg, AHHS, CF composites multimaterial joining.

Additional Information

Photo of vehicle testing equipment in a lab at Oakridge National Laboratory.
Photo of several large glass containers that contain microscopes, vehicle testing equipment, and computers.
Photo of the front of the NTRC building.