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Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Automotive R&D Initiative 2006 Tennessee Valley Corridor National Summit Benjamin J. Ritchey, Battelle Memorial Institute June 1, 2006 Who Am I? Vice President, Battelle’s Transportation and Economic Development Practices

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oak ridge national laboratory ornl automotive r d initiative

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)Automotive R&D Initiative

2006 Tennessee Valley Corridor

National Summit

Benjamin J. Ritchey, Battelle Memorial Institute

June 1, 2006

who am i
Who Am I?
  • Vice President, Battelle’s Transportation and Economic Development Practices
  • Battelle Memorial Institute [Battelle]
    • Non-Profit Research and Development Firm
    • Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio
    • $3 billion in revenue annually
  • Battelle and the University of Tennessee co-manage US DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
short term assignment for ornl
Short-Term Assignment for ORNL
  • Outline ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy for Dr. Jeff Wadsworth (ORNL Director) and Dr. Jim Roberto (ORNL Deputy Director Science and Technology)
    • Analyze the components of the Southern Automotive Cluster and compare to the Midwest Automotive Cluster
    • Determine a strategy for ORNL and interested Southern universities to conduct research and development-related activities for the automotive industry
    • Identify potential opportunities to explore with the automotive cluster/industry that will help position the southern region for long-term economic development
ornl s automotive r d goals and visions
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Goals and Visions

ORNL’s Goal and Position:

  • Lab of the South

ORNL’s Science Vision:

  • Provide scientific leadership to generate research, development, test/ evaluation, and problem-solving activities for the automotive industry while working with Southern universities

ORNL’s Economic

Development Vision:

  • Enhance the automotive industry’s growth and diversity of activities in the South
ornl s automotive r d strategy
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy
  • Working Group of Southern Universities
    • Auburn University
    • Clemson University
    • Mississippi State University
    • University of Alabama Birmingham
    • University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    • University of Kentucky
    • University of Tennessee
  • Working Group Hosts: TVA and ORNL
    • TVA, Amy Bunton, General Manager, Economic Development
    • ORNL, Tom Ballard, Director of Economic Development and Partnerships
ornl s automotive r d strategy6
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy
  • The end goal is to catalyze economic development in the South by focusing on automotive R&D. To be successful, we must:
    • Determine the strategy of a Southern Automotive Research & Development initiative for the purposes of aligning diverse research capabilities and expertise
    • Identify the economic development and innovation strategies necessary to expand and diversify the automotive industry’s presence in the South
automotive industry market size









Automotive Industry – Market Size
  • The U.S. car and light truck automotive market was valued at over $400 billion in 2004
    • The U.S. has the largest share of the global market

Global Market Share by Region, 2004 (of $1,072b)

Source: Datamonitor

Numbers have been rounded

automotive clusters automakers
Currently, the automakers produce cars & light trucks in 71 plants nationwide*

64 of these plants, or 90%, are located in the Midwest and South
















Automotive Clusters – Automakers

Car & Light Truck Assembly Plants

Car & Light Truck Assembly Plants

Midwestern Cluster 37 Plants

Midwestern Cluster 37 Plants


Southern Cluster 27 Plants

Southern Cluster 27 Plants

* Additional plants are located in Delaware, Kansas, Texas, and New Jersey

automotive clusters midwest vs southern production
Automotive Clusters – Midwest vs Southern Production
  • The Midwest Cluster is the largest producer
  • However, production is increasing in the South and declining in the Midwest

US Car and Light Truck Production, 2001-2004

(thousands of units)

Source: Ward’s 2005 Market Data Book

Numbers have been rounded

trends shift in manufacturing location
Trends – Shift in Manufacturing Location
  • Automotive manufacturing is expected to continue to increase in the South for reasons such as:
    • The population shift to the South, where the majority of new cars are being purchased
      • Automakers build cars close to their primary markets to reduce shipping costs
    • Low wages
    • Non-unionized labor
    • Educated workforce
    • Good, affordable power supply
    • Large, affordable tracts of land
    • Incentives
trends transplant r d sites
Trends – Transplant R&D Sites
  • The Japanese transplants, for example, have traditionally located their R&D primarily in Michigan, or near corporate U.S. headquarters

Current Locations of

Select Transplant R&D Facilities



U.S. Headquarters

Source: Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association

  • Production and market size are increasing in the Southern Cluster, while declining in the Midwest
    • In addition to population growth, the South offers economic manufacturing advantages over the Midwest, such as lower wages, non-unionized labor, and affordable power
  • The transplants, based primarily in the South, may continue to grow at the expense of the Big 3
  • Traditionally, automakers locate R&D in Michigan and/or near their headquarters, rather than with manufacturing facilities. However, opportunities are available in unique areas of excellence to become a player.
  • Over 85% of automotive R&D is conducted in Michigan
    • The state has more than 215 automaker and other R&D organizations, including engineering, research, new product development, design, and testing facilities
  • Michigan still appears to be the place of choice for R&D
    • The State of Michigan is specifically targeting automotive R&D to replace the loss in its manufacturing sector
    • Both Toyota and Hyundai recently opened new R&D centers in Michigan
honda s 25 year evolution
Honda’s 25-year Evolution
  • Honda has developed in Ohio from a motorcycle assembly plant in 1978 to what has become the company’s North American Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Hub today.
  • Currently, Honda’s Ohio Hub focuses on:
    • Manufacturing
    • Production Engineering
    • Research and Development
    • Purchasing
    • Logistics
    • Quality Assurance
conclusions of honda case study
Conclusions of Honda Case Study
  • Honda’s growth, expansion, and diversity of activities (including R&D) in Ohio has led to significant economic development:
    • 16,049 Ohioans employed by Honda in 2003 with total wages exceeding $1.1 billion annually
    • 154 Ohio companies are suppliers to Honda, employing 40,776
  • The Honda Case Study can serve as a roadmap for the South as the region focuses on R&D strategies
ornl s automotive r d strategy19
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy
  • Process to determine R&D strategy
    • Determine business case for automotive R&D
    • Understand current automotive R&D needs/issues
      • Focus on leading edge R&D issues and needs requiring unique science/engineering support
    • Inventory expertise/facilities (ORNL/Universities)
    • Understand current automotive R&D assets at ORNL/Universities
    • Match research expertise to R&D needs
    • Develop ORNL R&D strategy including leadership, industry interactions, needed expertise/facilities, implementation plan, and monitor progress
ornl s automotive r d strategy20
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy
  • Work with automotive industry to identify leading-edge research and development opportunities that require unique science and engineering support

Strategic Objective:

  • Energy Security
  • Global Warming/Air Quality
  • Passenger Safety
  • Consumer Preference

Automotive Industry’s Commitment to Advance Technologies will impact:


ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy

Potential Leading-edge R&D Opportunities (Interviews with automotive industry continues need to finalize focus areas.)

  • Energy/Propulsion Technologies
    • Advances in fuel injection and lean burn technologies, particularly fog-type injectors
    • Diesel NOx after-treatment technologies
    • Battery improvements for hybrids
    • Production, distribution, safety, delivery, and onboard storage of hydrogen
    • Fuel cell technologies, including real-time imaging of water in a cell
  • Electronics
    • Improved sensors for accident prevention
    • Large scale electronics integration
    • Software development in a complex, highly integrated environment
    • Managing widely varying product life cycles within a vehicle

ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy

    • Simulation capabilities to demonstrate the integrated vehicle
    • Stronger, more robust software development tools
    • Inter-vehicle electronics communication technologies to support intelligent transportation
  • Materials
    • Formability issues of light weight materials
    • Joining and bonding of light weight materials
    • Corrosion issues (Magnesium)
    • Material failure knowledge
    • Advanced manufacturing and design
    • Material behavior modeling
    • Nano-technology related to light weight components, fuel cells, and batteries
    • Safety of nano-particles in manufacturing
ornl s automotive r d strategy23
ORNL’s Automotive R&D Strategy
  • Thank you for inviting me.
  • I look forward to a return visit to provide a completed automotive R&D strategy, implementation plan, and progress to date.

Contact Information:

Thomas B. Ballard

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Economic Development &


(865) 241-1948 ph


Amy H. Bunton

Tennessee Valley Authority

General Manager

Economic Development

(615) 232-6442 ph


Benjamin J. Ritchey


Vice President

Transportation & Economic

Development Practices

(614) 424-5701 ph