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Secretary Chu Announces $187 Million to Improve Vehicle Efficiency for Heavy-Duty Trucks and Passenger Vehicles

January 11, 2010

At an event today in Columbus, Indiana, Secretary Chu announced the selection of nine projects totaling more than $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, and with a private cost share of 50%, will support nearly $375 million in total research, development, and demonstration projects across the country. The nine winners have stated their projects will create over 500 jobs, primarily researchers, engineers, and managers who will develop these new technologies. By 2015, the projects expect to create over 6,000 jobs—many in manufacturing and assembly.

Currently, the transportation sector accounts for 28% of total U.S. energy use. As these vehicle technologies are adopted broadly across the country, 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.

"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 Biden. "Through strategic public-private investments like these, the Recovery Act is helping lay the groundwork for an expansion of our clean energy economy."

"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."

Three projects will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the efficiency of Class 8 long-haul freight trucks by 50%. These projects will receive more than $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 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 25-40% by 2015 using an engine-only approach.

The following projects have been selected for awards under two topic areas:

Systems Level Technology Development, Integration, and Demonstration for Efficient Class 8 Trucks (SuperTrucks)

Advanced Technology Powertrains for Light-Duty Vehicles (ATP-LD)

The lead applicant on each proposal is listed above. The final details of each award contract will be finalized in negotiations between DOE and the grantee.

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Content Last Updated: 01/25/2010