US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that the DOE is awarding $187 million in funding to nine programs designed to make cars and trucks more efficient. $53 million of that will be directed to Cummins, Inc for two specific projects, according to the NY Times. One is improving the Class 8 vehicles, or ‘super trucks’, with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. In fact, a total of $115 million will be directed towards ‘super truck’ efficiency projects.According to Green Inc:
The majority of the financing — about $115 million — is going to projects related to fuel efficiency of the super truck. In addition to the grant to Cummins, the Energy Department awarded grants to the Indiana-based Navistar to develop technologies to cut fuel use in half for heavy-duty trucks and trailers, and Daimler Trucks North America of Portland, Ore., which will work on shrinking the size of the engine.
Chu noted that the money was coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill), and that in total, the funding was expected to create some 500 green jobs. Here’s a quick look at a couple of the other fuel efficiency projects now in the works:
Also receiving grants are the technology company Robert Bosch of Farmington Hills, which will work to develop engine technology that will “achieve up to 30 percent fuel economy improvement,” and Delphi Automotive Systems of Delphi, Mich., which received just over $7 million to improve fuel efficiency by developing systems that will help reduce idling.
These projects are all intriguing, and all steps in the right direction–making the stuff we have now more efficient is perhaps the best way to achieve quick carbon reductions and energy savings. And it makes for a good principle to adhere to in general–giant Class 8 trucks are going to be a reality of the American roadway for some time yet, belching exhaust wherever they go. In the meantime, making them as energy efficient as possible until a better alternative is feasible is a worthy goal.