This week, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $115 million in grants to truck and engine makers for projects to develop cleaner, more efficient products. Daimler Trucks North America got the largest single chunk – $40 million – through the 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership. The goal of the program is to improve vehicle freight efficiency by 50 percent over the next five years.

Daimler has already been working with companies like Eaton on the development of hybrid trucks and buses for several years. Daimler's Detroit Diesel unit has also incorporated Bluetec technology like common rail injection, particulate filters and urea injection SCR systems into its truck engines. Detroit Diesel has cut its NOx emissions by over 80 percent while improving fuel efficiency by five percent. The press release is after the jump.

[Source: Daimler]


PRESS RELEASE

Daimler Trucks North America Receives $40 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Energy
Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Jan 15, 2010
  • Funding from the U.S. 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership program for the further improvement of freight efficiency
  • Funding will be available for commercial vehicle and diesel engine development by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)
  • Martin Daum, President and CEO of DTNA: "This partnership will enable our truck and drive technologies to make great progress."

Portland, Oregon, U.S. – DTNA has received nearly $40 million (approx. €28 million ) in funding through the 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership. DTNA and other project partners will use the grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of commercial vehicles and engines.

The DTNA award is the largest of the nine project awards totaling $115 million (approx. €79 million), which the DOE will provide in funding to qualifying U.S. OEMs for outstanding research projects with the objective of significantly improving the freight efficiency of Class 8 (above 15 tons) trucks. Trucks will be developed to move large volumes of freight at efficiency levels well beyond today's standards and at the same time emit less CO2 and consume less fuel. DTNA has put together a project team whose aim will be to demonstrate a 50 percent total increase in vehicle freight efficiency through a five year research and development process focusing on advanced vehicle systems and engine technologies.

"This grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is essential for us, and will enable our truck and drive technologies to make great progress for the benefit of the environment and the commercial vehicles industry," said Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America. "We see this as acknowledgement of our continuous commitment to make commercial vehicle transportation as environmentally friendly and as fuel efficient as possible."

To this Elmar Boeckenhoff, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology for DTNA, added: "Forward-thinking programs like this one help to make progress in the development of trucks and fully explore the 'stretch' technologies that can lead to the next level of product innovation."

DTNA's long-standing commitment to the environment includes developing the most fuel-efficient engines and vehicles possible, as well as a commitment to sustainable production processes. The Detroit Diesel heavy-duty BlueTec engines from DTNA that are designed to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards as well as provide improved fuel efficiency are setting an example for that. Compared to EPA 2007-generation, BlueTec-equipped engines deliver a fuel economy improvement of up to five percent and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 80 percent. The use of the SCR system allows DTNA to benefit from the experience obtained with Mercedes-Benz BlueTec trucks and buses in Europe. More than 250,000 of these trucks and buses have taken to the roads in Europe since BlueTec was introduced in 2005. Detroit Diesel has subjected BlueTec SCR technology in trucks to tests totaling 25 million miles. This will make SCR technology one of the most thoroughly tested exhaust technologies in the United States as well.

Daimler Trucks North America, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. Headquartered in Redford, Michigan, Detroit Diesel Corporation is a company of Daimler Trucks North America and a leading manufacturer of on-highway diesel engines for the commercial truck market.