The Volvo Group will be participating as a cooperation partner in a joint environmental program between the U.S. and Swedish Governments. The program is aimed at reducing consumption of fossil fuel by focusing on projects within the areas of energy and vehicle development. For Volvo, it would involve producing powertrains based on alternative fuels suitable for heavy vehicles.
The cooperation is a result of a research and development agreement signed in June 2006 by the Swedish and U.S. governments. The Volvo Group will be a cooperation partner in a number of projects conducted under this agreement. The projects include the development of hybrid technology for heavy vehicles and analyses of how various biofuels impact on diesel engines, with the aim of further improving fuel economy and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
“We believe that being involved in this unique cooperation project will be extremely stimulating,” says Jan-Eric Sundgren, member of the Volvo Group Executive Committee, responsible for public and environmental affairs. “This means that we can implement a number of projects within the environmental area that would otherwise have not been possible. We hope that our participation will lead to more cooperation aimed at sustainable development.”
Among others, Volvo Group subsidiary Mack Trucks is involved in the projects, which will be co-financed by the Volvo Group and the U.S. and Swedish governments.
Mack says the goal of the joint project with the U.S. Department of Energy is to develop environmentally friendly commercial vehicle technologies, with an initial goal of reducing fuel consumption and primary carbon dioxide emissions from heavy-duty trucks by more than 10 percent. The project is to be cost-shared between the Volvo Group and DOE, and the combined investment is expected to be in the range of $9 million.
The project is the first to be discussed under the Implementing Arrangement on Renewable Energy Cooperation established between the United States and Sweden in Stockholm. Mack is participating as a result of a cooperation agreement between DOE and the Volvo Group. Much of the work will be performed by Volvo Powertrain North America, supplier of engines to Mack.
“These cooperative ventures are absolutely critical,” said Paul L. Vikner, president and chief executive officer of Lehigh Valley, Pa.-based Mack. “Governments, companies and universities must work together to ensure the successful development and commercialization of environmentally-friendly technologies. And we at Mack are very excited to be at the forefront of the effort to enable sustainable transportation.”