Energy Dept. Investing $137 Million in Commercial and Passenger Vehicle Efficiency

The DOE will fund two projects aimed at increasing vehicle efficiency, one of which is the SuperTruck II program; Cummins, Daimler, Navistar and Volvo have been chosen as the participating teams for the project.

U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly adopt a second round of standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, the Energy Department is announcing up to $137 million in investments for two programs, subject to appropriations, to develop next generation technologies that will support industry in going beyond those standards while also accelerating technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.

One initiative, SuperTruck II, will fund four projects to develop and demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks, commonly known as 18-wheelers. 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 a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric 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,” says Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman. “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.”

In 2010, the Energy Department launched the SuperTruck initiative to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%. These trucks haul 80% of goods in the United States and use about 28 billion gallons of fuel per year, accounting for around 22% of total transportation energy usage – presenting a significant opportunity for carbon emissions reduction and energy savings for a key segment of our nation’s transportation sector. Three of the four competitively-selected teams accepted the challenge and have exceeded the 50% goal. The fourth team is on track to exceed the target this year.

For SuperTruck II, the Energy Department has selected the following four SuperTruck II teams for projects of $20 million in federal funding, and each recipient will match that amount, dollar-for-dollar:

  • Cummins, Inc. (Columbus, IN) will design and develop a new more-efficient engine and advanced drivetrain and vehicle technologies.
  • Daimler Trucks North America LLC (Portland, OR) 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, Inc. (Lisle, IL) 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 LLC (Greensboro, NC) will develop and demonstrate a tractor trailer combination with lightweight cab that achieves the freight efficiency goal using alternative engine designs and a variety of system technologies.