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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)

  • Cummins Inc. - $38,831,115 - Columbus, Indiana: 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, Oregon: 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, Inc. - $37,328,933 - Fort Wayne, Indiana: Develop and demonstrate technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction, and reduced rolling resistance tires.

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

  • Chrysler Group LLC - $14,458,572 - Auburn Hills, Michigan: 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 Inc. - $15,000,000 - Columbus, Indiana: 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 LLC - $7,480,572 - Troy, Michigan: 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, Michigan: 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 Co. - $7,705,862 - Pontiac, Michigan: 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, Michigan: Demonstrate a high compression, turbo-charged engine based on homogenous charge compression ignition technology (a combustion technology that allows for lower emissions and higher efficiency) to achieve up to 30% fuel economy improvement in a gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicle.

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.