Daimler, Detroit Diesel receive $40M for 21st century truck technology

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Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) today announced that it has received nearly $40,000,000 in funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership. The DOE award was announced by Department of Energy Secretary Chu in Columbus, Indiana today and will be shared by DTNA’s sister company, Detroit Diesel Corporation, and other project partners. The Daimler Trucks North America award is the largest of the nine project awards announced today by the DOE.

Through this program, the DOE will provide more than $115 million in funding to qualifying OEM’s for research projects with the objective of significantly improving the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Program vehicle prototypes will be built to move large volumes of freight at efficiency levels well beyond today’s standards while reducing greenhouse gases and dependency on foreign oil. Freight efficiency is defined as ton-miles per gallon of fuel.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this grant from the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer for Daimler Trucks North America. “This is an essential partnership that will ultimately create highly efficient technologies that will benefit the environment and the commercial vehicles industry. We see this as acknowledgment of our key strategic goal to make commercial transportation as environmentally friendly and as fuel efficient as possible and are committed to match it despite continuing economic and industry challenges.” 

DTNA’s long-standing commitment to the environment includes developing the most fuel-efficient engines and vehicles possible, as well as a commitment to sustainable production processes. DTNA’s state-of-the-art, in-house wind tunnel testing facility serves to refine aerodynamics on vehicles such as the recently introduced Freightliner Cascadia™ Class 8 truck with the overall objective of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The company uses Detroit Diesel heavy-duty engines with BlueTec® emissions technology that are designed to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards as well as provide improved fuel efficiency. 

“This funding enables us to significantly accelerate our research and development of advanced technologies. It will strengthen our ability to bring ever more efficient products to the market,” said Elmar Boeckenhoff, senior vice president, engineering and technology for DTNA and director of the DTNA SuperTruck project team. “This forward-thinking program is a technology partnership that will help us to quickly and fully explore the ‘stretch’ technologies that can lead to the next level of product innovation.” 

The DTNA SuperTruck project team will begin operation immediately. Project goals include the demonstration of a 50 percent total increase in vehicle freight efficiency through a five year research and development process focusing on advanced vehicle systems and engine technologies. 

For a copy of the Department of Energy press release go to: http://www.energy.gov/news2009/print2009/8506.htm.