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U.S. Energy Department to give $137 million for vehicle efficiency

Staff Writer |
The Energy Department announced up to $137 million in investments for two programs to develop next generation technologies that will accelerate technology advances for passenger cars and light trucks.

One initiative, SuperTruck II, will fund four projects to develop and demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks, commonly known as 18-wheelers.

Through another initiative, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement selections, 35 new projects will receive $57 million to develop and deploy a wide array of cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric drive systems, to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum consumption in passenger cars and light trucks.

“These investments will accelerate the development of innovative vehicle technologies that will save businesses and consumers money at the pump, cut carbon emissions, and strengthen our economy,” said Acting Assistant Secretary David Friedman.

“SuperTruck II builds on the successful SuperTruck I program, which has already led to more than twenty fuel saving technologies that have reached the commercial market.”

In 2010, the Energy Department launched the SuperTruck initiative to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50 percent.

These trucks haul 80 percent of goods in the United States and use about 28 billion gallons of fuel per year, accounting for around 22 percent of total transportation energy usage – presenting a significant opportunity for carbon emissions reduction and energy savings for a key segment of our nation’s transportation sector.

Three of the four competitively-selected teams accepted the challenge and have exceeded the 50 percent goal. The fourth team is on track to exceed the target this year.

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