Feds to spend $115.7 million on heavy-duty fuel efficiency network

DOE logoThe U.S. Department of Energy selected three projects totaling $115.7 million in federal money to develop and demonstrate fuel efficiency technologies by 2010. The projects were split roughly equally among Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar. The total investment is to be $230 million with the other half of the costs borne by the private sector. Funds will support improved aerodynamics, technologies to reduce engine idling, waste heat recovery to increase engine efficiency, advanced combustion techniques, and powertrain hybridization.

DOE also announced more than $71 million in federal funding for the development of advanced technology powertrains for light-duty vehicles. Companies receiving funds for that program include Chrysler, Cummins, Delphi, Ford, General Motors and Robert Bosch.

The three heavy-duty projects will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the efficiency of Class 8 long-haul freight trucks by 50 percent as part of DOE’s 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership – frequently referred to as the Super Truck program. According to the DOE, the transportation sector accounts for 28 percent of total U.S. energy use. As these vehicle technologies are adopted broadly across the country, they could save more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per day, and reduce carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by 20 percent by 2030.

“By investing Recovery dollars in next generation fuel efficient trucks here at home, we’re not only creating new job opportunities now, but helping lay a new foundation to keep American auto manufacturers competitive in the 21st century global marketplace,” said Vice President Biden.

Cummins received $38.8 million to develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor and trailer combination and a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling.

Daimler Trucks North America was awarded $39.6 million to develop and demonstrate technologies including engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics and hybridization. The award will be shared by Detroit Diesel Corp. and other project partners.

Navistar, Inc. received $37.3 million to develop and demonstrate technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction and reduced rolling resistance tires.