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DOE Commits $137M to Advance Fuel-Efficient Tech

August 17, 2016

The first Freightliner SuperTruck achieved a 115% freight efficiency improvement, hit 50.2% brake thermal efficiency (the goal was 50%), and achieved 12.2 mpg in real-world operation. Photo by Stephane Babcock.
The first Freightliner SuperTruck achieved a 115% freight efficiency improvement, hit 50.2% brake thermal efficiency (the goal was 50%), and achieved 12.2 mpg in real-world operation. Photo by Stephane Babcock.

The Energy Department is announcing up to $137 million in investments for two programs designed to develop next-generation fuel-efficiency technologies in commercial and passenger vehicles, including more funding for SuperTruck II.

The program is designed to advance environmental and innovative technologies for heavy- and medium-duty vehicles while accelerating technology advancement for passenger cars and lighter trucks.

One of the initiatives, SuperTruck II, will fund four projects to develop and demonstrate cost-effective technologies aimed at doubling the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks.

Through another initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement selections, 35 new projects will receive $57 million to develop and deploy an array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies. These technologies include advanced batteries and electrical drive systems to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

“These investments will accelerate the development of innovative vehicle technologies that will save businesses and consumers money at the pump, cut carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy,” said David Friedman, acting assistant secretary. “SuperTruck II builds on the successful SuperTruck I program, which has already led to more than 20 fuel-saving technologies that have reached the commercial market.”

Announced in March, the SuperTruck II initiative is a continuation of the SuperTruck program that was launched in 2010 to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%. For SuperTruck II, the Energy Department has selected four SuperTruck II teams for projects of $20 million in federal funding with each recipient matching that amount dollar-for-dollar. The four companies tapped participating in SuperTruck II are Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar, and Volvo Technology of America.

Cummins will design and develop a new more-efficient engine and advanced drivetrain and vehicle technologies.

Daimler Trucks North America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories.

Navistar will design and develop a vehicle and powertrain with electrified engine components that can enable higher engine efficiency and a significantly more aerodynamically reengineered cab.

Volvo Technology of America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination with a lightweight cab that achieves the freight efficiency goal using alternative engine designs and a variety of system technologies.

For more information on both programs, click here

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