12 January 2010

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of nine projects totaling $187 million to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles. The funding includes more than $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With a private cost share of 50%, it will support nearly $375 million in total research, development and demonstration projects.

Currently, the transportation sector accounts for 28% of total US energy use. As the new vehicle technologies are broadly adopted, they could save more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per day, and reduce carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by 20% by 2030, said the DOE.

Three projects will focus on measures to improve the efficiency of Class 8 long-haul freight trucks by 50% (SuperTrucks). These projects will receive $115 million in funding to develop and demonstrate systems-level fuel efficiency technologies by 2015, including improved aerodynamics, reducing engine idling technologies, waste heat recovery to increase engine efficiency, advanced combustion techniques, and powertrain hybridization. The awards in the SuperTrucks topic area include:

  • Cummins—$38,831,115—Columbus, IN—Develop and demonstrate a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic Peterbilt tractor and trailer combination, and a fuel cell auxiliary power unit to reduce engine idling.
  • Daimler Trucks North America, LLC—$39,559,868—Portland, OR—Develop and demonstrate technologies including engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics and hybridization.
  • Navistar—$37,328,933—Fort Wayne, IN—Develop and demonstrate technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction, and reduced rolling resistance tires.

The remaining six projects totaling $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 25-40% by 2015 using an engine-only approach. The awards in the topic area of advanced technology powertrains for light-duty vehicles (ATP-LD) are:

  • Chrysler Group—$14,458,572—Auburn Hills, MI—Develop a flexible combustion system for their minivan platform based on a downsized, turbocharged engine that uses direct gasoline injection, recirculation of exhaust gases, and flexible intake air control to reduce emissions.
  • Cummins—$15,000,000—Columbus, IN—Develop a fuel-efficient, low emissions diesel engine that achieves a 40% fuel economy improvement over conventional gasoline technology and significantly exceeds 2010 EPA emissions requirements.
  • Delphi Automotive Systems—$7,480,572—Troy, MI—Develop a novel low-temperature combustion system, coupled with technologies such as continuously variable valve control and engine downspeeding, to improve fuel economy by at least 25%.
  • Ford Motor Company—$15,000,000—Dearborn, MI—Achieve a 25% fuel economy improvement with a gasoline engine in a 2010 mid- to large-size sedan using technologies including engine downsizing, turbo-charging, direct injection, and a novel exhaust aftertreatment system.
  • General Motors—$7,705,862—Pontiac, MI—Develop an engine that uses lean combustion and active heat management, as well as a novel emissions control system, to improve the fuel economy of a 2010 Malibu demonstration vehicle by 25%.
  • Robert Bosch—$11,953,786—Farmington Hills, MI—Demonstrate a high compression, turbocharged engine based on homogenous charge compression ignition technology to achieve up to 30% fuel economy improvement in a gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicle.

Source: US DOE