Our work in the transportation sector builds upon Rocky Mountain Institute's history of groundbreaking research, consulting and enterprise startups in advanced vehicles to accelerate the automotive sector’s transition to sustainable mobility.
In the early 1990s, RMI's Hypercar Center foretold the hybrid-electric vehicle revolution, with comprehensive research in modeling, technology assessment, and automotive system design. (Use the "Browse Topics" list at right to search for more information about Hypercar.)
RMI’s research into advanced materials and integrated design is also positioning the industry for its next revolution—lightweighting.
RMI has developed an enterprise from its work in the automotive industry as well as an initiative to prep America's cities for electric vehicles:
Additionally, RMI's work with major equipment manufacturers and has led to large-scale internal development programs and technology innovations. Recent clients and partners in automotive have included Johnson Controls, Alcoa, Ford Motor Company, Lubrizol, and Google’s RechargeIT initiative.
To create the next generation of efficient, attractive, and profitable vehicles, RMI is working on four core areas across its capabilities and partner network.
Taking it Global
While continuing to improve vehicle efficiency in the U.S., RMI is targeting emerging auto markets like India and China. Currently, India and China have the same per capita auto ownership the United States had in 1915.
The Chinese auto industry has quadrupled in size in the past six years -- with rapid growth expected to continue—and the cars it produces need to be much more efficient.
Our goal is to encourage Indian and Chinese automakers like Mahindra, Tata and Chery to leapfrog efficiency gains being achieved in more advanced markets. We will continue to work with U.S. manufacturers to help them be at the forefront of the technology-efficiency competition.