3 manufacturers to get ‘SuperTruck’ financing

Updated Jan 12, 2010

Three projects focusing on fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks, or “SuperTrucks,” will receive $115 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In an announcement today, Jan. 11, at Cummins Inc. headquarters in Columbus, Ind., United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu said Cummins, Navistar Inc. and Daimler Trucks North America will get funds to develop and build technologies for Class 8 long-haul trucks by 2015. The goal will be to improve fuel efficiency by 50 percent.

Cummins will partner with Peterbilt Motors on a nearly $39 million project to 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. Cummins also will get $15 million to develop an engine for a light-duty vehicle.

Daimler will receive almost $40 million to develop technologies including engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems such as oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics and hybridization.

Navistar’s $37.3 million grant will go toward technologies to improve truck and trailer aerodynamics, combustion efficiency, waste heat recovery, hybridization, idle reduction, and reduced rolling resistance tires. Argonne National Laboratory will work with Navistar to improve the combustion efficiency and waste heat recovery for Class 8 trucks.

The goal of the SuperTruck program is to improve efficiency through advanced and highly efficient engine systems and vehicle technologies that also meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. Every facet of energy consumption of a Class 8 tractor and trailer will be addressed through the development and integration of advanced technologies.