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U.S. grants $187M for fuel efficiency research
Monday, 11 January 2010 00:00

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration will announce on Monday funding for nine projects designed to significantly increase fuel efficiency in heavy trucks and passenger vehicles, with more than half the money coming from the $787 billion (euro550 billion) stimulus package.

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu will detail the projects during a ceremony in Columbus, Indiana, home of Cummins Inc., which will receive nearly $40 million to develop a more efficient and cleaner diesel engine, a more aerodynamic long-haul truck cab and trailer, and a fuel cell that would deliver auxiliary power to reduce engine idling while the vehicle is not on the road.

The White House said the nine projects would receive $187 million from the federal government, with more than $100 million coming from stimulus funds and the remainder from the Department of Energy. Recipients are expected to match government funding, creating a total investment of $375 million.

According to the administration, the nine recipients are expected to create more than 500 research, engineering and management jobs, with 6,000 more jobs anticipated when the technologies go into production and assembly.

In detailing the awards, the administration said the new technologies, when in broad use, "could save more than 100 million gallons of oil per day and reduce carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by 20 percent by 2030."

Three of the projects, receiving $115 million, are aimed at improving long-haul truck fuel efficiency by 50 percent, with new designs supposed to be ready by 2015.

In addition to Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, of Portland, Ore., will receive nearly $40 million; Navistar Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., is in line for $27.3 million.

The remaining six projects for passenger vehicles will spread more than $71 million among Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Delphi Automotive Systems, Robert Bosch and a second Cummins project.

The money will go to companies based in economically hard-hit Michigan and Indiana, with the exception of Daimler Trucks.

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., Columbus, Ind., $38,831,115. 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, Portland, Ore., $39,559,868. 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., Fort Wayne, Ind., $37,328,933. 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, Auburn Hills, Mich., $14,458,572. 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. Develop a fuel-efficient, low emissions diesel engine that achieves a 40 percent fuel economy improvement over conventional gasoline technology and significantly exceeds 2010 EPA emissions requirements.
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, Troy, Mich., $7,480,572. 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 percent.
  • Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., $15,000,000. Achieve a 25 percent 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 Corp., Pontiac, Mich., $7,705,862. 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 percent.
  • Robert Bosch, Farmington Hills, Mich., $11,953,786. 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 percent fuel economy improvement in a gasoline-fueled light-duty vehicle.

TheTrucker.com, 1/11/2010