DOE awards Daimler $40 million to design SuperTruck
Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has received nearly $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership to fund research on a highly fuel efficient “SuperTruck.” The Daimler Trucks North America award is one of nine project awards announced by the DOE.
The DOE plans to provide more than $115 million in funding through the 21st Century Truck Technology Partnership for research projects aimed at significantly improving the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Program vehicle prototypes will be built to move large volumes of freight at efficiency levels beyond today’s standards — defined as ton-miles per gallon of fuel — while reducing greenhouse gases and dependency on foreign oil.
The DTNA SuperTruck project team will begin operation immediately. Project goals include the demonstration of 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 is an essential partnership that will ultimately create highly efficient technologies that will benefit the environment and the commercial vehicles industry,” said Martin Daum, president and chief executive officer for Daimler Trucks North America.
DTNA already focuses much of its research on fuel efficiency. The company’s in-house wind tunnel testing facility refines aerodynamics on vehicles, such as the recently introduced Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 truck (pictured), with the overall objective of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The company uses Detroit Diesel heavy-duty engines with BlueTec emissions technology that are designed to meet EPA 2010 emissions standards as well as provide improved fuel efficiency. “This funding enables us to significantly accelerate our research and development of advanced technologies,” said Elmar Boeckenhoff, senior vice president, engineering and technology for DTNA and director of the DTNA SuperTruck project team. “This forward-thinking program is a technology partnership that will help us to quickly and fully explore the ‘stretch’ technologies that can lead to the next level of product innovation.”