Cummins, Peterbilt partner for SuperTruck project

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U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu today, Jan. 11, announced that Cummins will receive nearly $54 million in funding from the Department of Energy for two projects aimed at improving fuel efficiency in heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles. The Cummins awards were among nine project awards, totaling more than $187 million, announced at an event held at Cummins’ Technical Center in Columbus, Ind., which also was attended by U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, Rep. Baron Hill and state and local officials.

Cummins will receive nearly $39 million in funding to support systems level technology development, integration and demonstration for highly efficient Class 8 trucks (SuperTruck). The company will receive an additional $15 million in funding to support advanced technology powertrains for light-duty vehicles (ATP-LD). In addition to the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and petroleum usage, the improvements in engine system efficiency will deliver a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Cummins will partner with Peterbilt Motors Co. for its SuperTruck project. The Cummins project will 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.

“Cummins has long enjoyed a collaborative partnership with the DOE,” says Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Linebarger. “These R&D programs have helped us develop the best products for our customers and the environment. We appreciate the funding provided by the DOE for the Cummins SuperTruck and Light-Duty programs, which will create jobs, help address climate change and reduce oil consumption. This public-private partnership is a win for our economy, a win for the environment and a win for energy challenges. We are looking forward to working closely with Peterbilt on this important technology project.”

The goal of the SuperTruck program initiated by DOE is to improve Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency by 50 percent through advanced and highly efficient engine systems and vehicle technologies that also meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. Every facet of energy consumption of a Class 8 tractor and trailer will be addressed through the development and integration of advanced technologies.

The ATP-LD program will develop a fuel-efficient low-emissions diesel engine that achieves a 40 percent fuel economy improvement over conventional gasoline technology and significantly exceeds 2010 EPA emissions requirements. The project will develop and demonstrate an advanced, highly integrated combustion engine and aftertreatment system to achieve Tier2 Bin2 emissions compliance while maintaining vehicle performance and drivability. The project also will develop the system architecture to accommodate onboard diagnostic regulations from the design stage to better enable product commercialization.

During the program development, more than 60 technical positions will be dedicated to the project work at Cummins. Successful production implementation will result in additional long-term positions.

“The DOE has provided strong leadership in establishing an advanced combustion engine research and development partnership between industry and government,” says Dr. John Wall, Cummins vice president and chief technical officer. “Cummins looks forward to continuing our partnership with DOE to develop advanced diesel, hybrid and natural gas engine technologies that will deliver more efficient and cleaner combustion engines to our customers.”