DOE Announces $80 Million in Funding to Increase SuperTruck Efficiency

Posted by Lauren Tyler on March 01, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Policy Watch

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Reuben Sarkar has announced SuperTruck II, an $80 million funding opportunity for research, development and demonstration of long-haul, tractor-trailer truck technology.

Sarkar also announced more than $12 million in selections for three new cost-shared projects focused on the research, development and demonstration of plug-in electric powertrain technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

“Improving the efficiency of commercial trucks is critical to reducing our petroleum consumption, strengthening our clean energy economy, and further reducing our contributions to climate change,” Sarkar says. “This new funding will not only accelerate innovation, but also foster rapid market adoption of new energy-efficient vehicle technologies.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) launched its SuperTruck initiative in 2010. Vehicles developed under SuperTruck I are Class 8 combination trucks – commonly known as 18-wheelers – that dramatically increase tractor-trailer fuel, engine and drivetrain efficiency through the use of advanced technologies. The DOE estimates that 18-wheelers haul 70% of all freight tonnage in the U.S. In 2014, the SuperTruck initiative achieved a fuel economy rating of 10.7 MPG under real-world driving conditions.

SuperTruck II projects will research, develop and demonstrate technologies to improve heavy-truck freight efficiency by more than 100%, relative to a manufacturer’s best-in-class 2009 truck, with an emphasis on technology cost-effectiveness and performance.

SuperTruck II projects will utilize a wide variety of truck and trailer technology approaches to achieve performance targets, such as improvements in engine efficiency, drivetrain efficiency, aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance and vehicle weight.

The recipients of the funding for plug-in electric powertrain technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles announced today are as follows:

  • Robert Bosch LLC (Farmington Hills, Mich.) will receive $5 million to develop and demonstrate a medium-duty, plug in hybrid vehicle powertrain that reduces fuel consumption by 50%;
  • Cummins Corporate Research and Technology (Columbus, Ind.) will receive $4.5 million to develop and demonstrate a Class 6 plug-in hybrid delivery truck that reduces fuel consumption by 50%; and
  • McLaren Performance Technologies (Livonia, Mich.) will receive $2.6 million to develop a Class 6 delivery truck with a scalable, innovative, lightweight, low-cost, and commercially viable plug-in electric drive system that improves fuel economy by 100%.
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