Nine grant projects receiving more than $187 million for improving fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles include three companies that also serve the school bus industry.
Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar Inc. received awards announced today by Energy Secretary Seven Chu. The three companies alone were awarded nearly $116 million, specifically for systems level technology development, integration and demonstration for more fuel efficient Class 8 trucks, or so-called SuperTrucks. The remaining funds go toward increasing fuel efficiency of passenger vehicle engines by 25 to 40 percent. Those winners included Chryslers, Cummins, Delphi Automotive Systems, Ford, GM and Robert Bosch.
On the freight truck side, where technology advancements could eventually trickle down to school bus applications, Cummins, which manufacturers engines used in school bus applications, won nearly $39 million for developing 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 idling. Daimler Trucks, which owns Thomas Built Buses, got $39.5 million for engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics, and hybridization. Meanwhile, Navistar, which owns IC Bus, is receiving $37.3 million for improved truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction and reduced rolling resistance tires.
The Diesel Technology Forum applauded the awards.
"As the [Obama] administration looks for ways to create jobs and improve energy-efficiency, diesel industry investments make sense," said said Allen Schaeffer, the organization's executive director "The U.S. is a leader in clean diesel technology and has a substantial manufacturing base in the U.S. for on- and off-road diesel engines, vehicles and equipment. It is also a proven technology that is working today and has undergone a complete environmental transformation to compete in the future.”
About $100 million of the stimulus comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with a private cost share of 50 percent. It will support nearly $375 million in total research, development and demonstration projects nationwide. The nine winning companies said that more than 500 jobs are expected to be created, primarily for researchers, engineers, and managers. A U.S. Department of Energy statement put the total number of new jobs created at 6,000 by 2015.
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