DOE Announces Funding for Third SuperTruck Program

The U.S. Dept. of Energy has announced funding for two new programs aimed at decarbonizing cars, trucks and off-road vehicles which includes a SuperTruck 3 initiative.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Daimler Trucks North America's SuperTruck design from the first program which achieved a 115% freight efficiency improvement.
Daimler Trucks North America's SuperTruck design from the first program which achieved a 115% freight efficiency improvement.
Daimler Trucks North America

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced two funding opportunities focused on improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions of cars, trucks and off-road vehicles. Over $162 million in funding will be provided. 

Funding will support a third iteration of the SuperTruck initiative as well as expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure. 

The DOE first announced its intent to fund SuperTruck 3 in March during The Work Truck Show 2021, which was held virtually. This time the program will look at electrification opportunities, including the use of hydrogen, to achieve higher efficiency and lower emissions in medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Companies which participated in the first two iterations of the SuperTruck program have shown the potential for efficiency gains in Class 8 trucks, and have even brought some of the technologies developed during the project to market. 

READ MORE: SuperTruck Returns

“Getting to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 means we must aggressively cut down the largest source of emissions: the transportation sector,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, in the DOE's press release announcing the new funding. “DOE’s first two SuperTruck initiatives led the biggest truck makers in the American semi market to take massive leaps in fuel efficiency. This new funding triples down on that progress with a push towards electrifying trucks of all sizes, along with efforts to expand EV charging access and develop low-emission car engines.”

More details on the new funding opportunities from the DOE's press release:

SuperTruck 3 Funding Opportunity

EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) are partnering on the “SuperTruck 3” Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to offer up to $100 million in funding over 4 years—subject to appropriations—to pioneer electrified medium- and heavy-duty trucks and freight system concepts that achieve even higher efficiency and lower emissions. The funding focuses on a range of approaches to electrification—all-electric, plug-in hybrid systems using renewable biofuels, and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, including hybridization strategies such as fuel cell range extenders.

“Climate chaos is the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes, and it’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to slash the pollution—much of which comes from the transportation sector—that is fanning the flames of the crisis,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “By leaning into American ingenuity and innovation, we can use new technologies to chart a path forward—one that will help create jobs, protect our health and security, and lead the world toward a more sustainable future. I’m grateful for the hard work of Oregonians who are contributing to that effort by developing world-class low-emission freight trucks with the support of SuperTruck funding, and I will continue to do all I can to make these investments possible in the years to come, as we work to thwart the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis.”

“Our modern approach to energy should be ‘all of the above’ not an ‘everything but’ solution. SuperTruck is a vital program not only to Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District, but to the path forward in expanding America’s energy capabilities and independence.” said U.S. Representative Greg Pence. “I came to Congress to ensure Hoosiers back home in Indiana have a seat at the table, which means prioritizing job creation and economic growth for my constituents – and this investment will accomplish just that.”

Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Funding Opportunity

VTO is also offering up to $62.75 million as part of its “Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment” FOA for innovative solutions to reducing emissions and increasing efficiencies for on- and off-road vehicles. To accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption, the FOA will support expansion of EV infrastructure and charging, along with community-level EV demonstrations that can lower barriers to EV adoption—such as piloting EV car sharing and installing EV charging within multi-unit housing. The FOA is also open to projects developing advanced engines and fuels that operate with lower emissions.

The application processes will include two phases: a concept paper and a full application. Concept papers are due May 13, 2021, and full applications are due July 12, 2021. Applicants are required to submit a plan for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives, including support for people from underrepresented groups in STEM, advancing equity within the project team, and producing benefits for underserved communities.