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  • U.S. Department of Energy

US DOE releases request for information to achieve off-road transportation decarbonization

The U.S. DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office, Vehicle Technologies Office and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office  jointly released May 7 the “Progression of Net-Zero Emission Propulsion Technologies for the Off-Road Sector Request for Information.”


The purpose of this RFI is to understand the off-road sector alternative-propulsion technology preferences, technologies that seem most promising, and the key barriers to achieving the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.


Recognizing that the off-road transportation sector generates 10 percent of U.S. transportation greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, the RFI aims to collect knowledge from stakeholders to guide actions regarding future propulsion technologies, research and infrastructure investments, and coordination to ensure the off-road sector is meeting or exceeding U.S. decarbonization milestones.


In January 2023, DOE, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. EPA released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization, a landmark interagency framework to eliminate emissions from the transportation sector—including off-road—by 2050. 


This significant transition requires coordination among all aspects of the supply chain, including feedstock supply, alternative-fuel production, equipment manufacturers, safety implementation, customer demand and government regulation. 


Off-road vehicles are primarily designed to operate away from existing roadways.


This transportation category contains a disparate and very diverse set of vehicles and use cases, including construction and mining equipment, industrial equipment, agriculture equipment, lawn-and-garden equipment, and recreational vehicles.


To develop a national strategy to decarbonize the sector, three critical questions must be addressed:

  • What is the current state of the off-road vehicle fleet?

  • Which powertrain technologies are most promising for decarbonization of off-road vehicles?

  • What is the timeline for the off-road sector to transition to net-zero emission GHG technologies?


The propulsion technologies under consideration for this RFI are biodiesel, renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, battery electric, direct electrification (catenary), electric hybridization, hydrogen-fueled internal-combustion engines, and hydrogen fuel cells.


“Currently, no one alternative propulsion technology is a clear choice for decarbonization of this sector,” DOE stated.


To learn more about the RFI and how to respond, click here.


Responses must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word (.docx) attachments to no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern time June 7.



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