As part of Earth Day ceremonies on Friday, Vice President Al Gore announced a research partnership with many of the nation's largest heavy-duty engine and truck manufacturers to develop super fuel-efficient, low-emission engines.

Gore said the goal of the "21st Century Truck Initiative" is to develop revolutionary technologies for increasing the fuel economy and safety of commercial trucks and buses. The effort is designed to lead, within 10 years, to "production prototypes" that double the fuel economy of heavy duty longhaul tractor-trailer rigs, improve safety, lower operating costs and exceed expected emission requirements for 2010.
The partnership will include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Mack Trucks, Oshkosh Trucks, Paccar, Volvo Trucks North America, Cummins Engine, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Eaton and Lockheed Martin Control Systems.
The initiative will leverage the expertise of the federal agencies and national laboratories, providing cost-shared funding for teaming on such programs as exhaust after-treatment, fuels, lubricants and truck propulsion systems.
(See "Feds Help Build Super-Efficient Truck," 11/17/99.)