The companies chosen to pursue fuel-efficient technologies on Class 8 trucks include Cummins, Navistar and Daimler Trucks North America. Meanwhile, those chosen to work on light-duty technologies include Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Delphi Automotive Systems, Cummins and Robert Bosch.
"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 Joe Biden. "Through strategic public-private investments like these, the Recovery Act is helping lay the groundwork for an expansion of our clean energy economy."
The goal of the Class 8 projects, which will receive $115 million by 2015, is to improve fuel efficiency by 50 percent. This will be accomplished through improved aerodynamics, reducing engine idling technologies, waste heat recovery to increase engine efficiency, advanced combustion techniques, and powertrain hybridization.
The remaining six projects totaling more than $71 million will support efforts to increase the fuel economy for passenger vehicle engines and powertrain systems. The goal is to develop engine technologies that will improve the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 25 to 40 percent by 2015 using an engine-only approach.
"Improving the efficiency of our vehicles is critical to reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and addressing climate change," said Secretary Chu. "Today's awards will help demonstrate the potential benefits for long-haul trucks and passenger vehicles and will play an important role in building a more sustainable transportation system for the country."
The Diesel Technology Forum praised the administration's decision to fund these projects.
"Providing stimulus funds for clean diesel technology is a wise public investment," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director. "Diesel engine and truck makers and suppliers have a proven track record of working with the Department of Energy to turn government research investments into real-world results. Past research investments are already benefitting Americans through lower emissions and more efficient commercial truck transportation."