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DOE Announces 12 Projects To Increase Vehicle Efficiency

February 16, 2005 - 10:16am


Industry Partners to Cost-Share Funding on $175 Million in Research Projects

WASHINGTON, DC  -- Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today announced the selection of projects that will increase the energy efficiency of passenger and commercial vehicles while maintaining low emissions. Twelve projects, with a total value of $175 million (50 percent, or $87.5 million contributed by the private sector) will focus on development of advanced combustion engine and waste heat recovery technologies.

“Together with our private sector partners, the Department of Energy is pursuing innovative new technologies to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. Partnerships like these are a critical component of our strategy to protect the environment and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil, two priorities of President Bush,” Secretary Bodman said.

The projects selected support the Bush Administration’s goal of improving efficiency of internal combustion engines from 30 percent (2004 baseline) to 45 percent by 2012 for passenger vehicles and from 40 percent (2002 baseline) to 55 percent by 2013 for commercial vehicles, while meeting cost, durability, and emissions constraints. Vehicles utilizing these technologies would use 10 to 15 percent less fuel than current vehicles, reducing America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil and improving the environment through reduced emissions.

Seven of the twelve projects will conduct research in advanced combustion technology. These projects have shown potential to achieve efficiency goals for cars and trucks while maintaining cost and high durability with near-zero emissions. The remaining five projects will develop technologies to convert waste heat from engines to electrical or mechanical energy; improving overall thermal efficiency and emissions reductions. 

“These two sets of projects complement each other,” Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) David Garman said. “By moving both development strategies forward, we can look toward a future with better, more efficient engines that produce less waste heat and fewer emissions. We at the Department of Energy are proud to help bring these projects to fruition.”

The projects were selected from a solicitation by EERE’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies to develop enabling technologies, components, methods and fuels for “high-efficiency clean combustion,” as well as utilization of engine waste heat for useful work.

In 2001, the United States used over 10 million barrels of crude oil per day for passenger and commercial vehicles. Over half of that oil is imported from foreign countries. Current projections show imports will fulfill about 70 percent of domestic needs by the year 2025. Increasing the energy efficiency of our nation’s passenger and commercial vehicles is an effective way to reduce dependence on imported oil while also reducing environmental emissions. 

A full list of the projects is provided below:

Enabling High Efficiency Clean Combustion

Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria, IL will identify and/or advance the required technologies to enable a low temperature, high efficiency combustion solution for 2010 on-highway truck or 2014 non-road machine applications.  The work includes implementation of HCCI combustion using a combination of enhanced engine sensors, “intelligent” engine control, variable compression ratio, and fuel composition.   Team members include ExxonMobil, Sandia National Laboratory and IAV Automotive. 

DOE cost: $10,379,349                        Industry cost share: $10,379,360

Cummins, Inc, in   Columbus, IN will develop variable valve timing and premixed charge compression ignition (PCCI) technologies, and integrate them into a production-viable engine.  The project will include the demonstration of engines for both passenger and commercial vehicles and the compatibility of the technology with renewable fuels. Team members include International, Daimler-Chrysler, British Petroleum, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

DOE cost: $15,040,547                        Industry cost share: $15,040,547

Detroit Diesel Corporation in   Detroit, MI  will combine several processes that enhance engine combustion individually into one system that enables high efficiency clean combustion.  They will also investigate fuel matrix effects, including renewable fuels. This project will develop engine system hardware and controls to improve thermal efficiency of commercial engines while meeting emissions levels of 2010 and beyond    Team members include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Freightliner, Schneider, Shell and DaimlerChrysler.

DOE cost: $19,468,000                        Industry cost share: $21,850,000

General Motors Corporation Powertrain Division in Pontiac, MI will develop parallel paths to improve passenger vehicle efficiency for both spark ignition and diesel engines.  The project will focus on variable valve timing technologies for short term and long term applications to allow implementation of homogeneous charge compression ignition operation.  Team members include Sturman Industries. 

DOE cost: $6,249,008                           Industry cost share: $6,249,010

International Truck and Engine Corporation in Warrenville, IL will conduct research for the development and application of HCCI combustion over as large an operating range as possible by integrating commercial or near-commercial fuel, air, and engine technologies (variable valve timing, variable compression ratio, variable nozzle turbocharging, and fuel injection equipment) with advanced controls.  Demonstration will be in a commercial diesel engine. Team members include Ricardo, Borg-Warner Turbo, Jacobs Vehicle Systems, Siemens, Mahle, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Argonne National Laboratory and Conoco-Phillips.

DOE cost: $6,405,202.                         Industry cost share: $8,137,390

John Deere Product Engineering in Waterloo, IA will develop a stoichiometric compression-ignition engine with low-pressure loop cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a diesel particulate filter followed by a three-way catalyst.  Combustion will be similar to conventional diesel combustion with lower peak temperatures.  A commercial diesel engine will be modified with a high injection pressure fuel system, variable valve timing and advanced electronic controls along with aftertreatment and low pressure loop EGR system.  Team members include Sturman Industries, Ricardo Technologies and Purdue University

DOE cost: $2,656,527.                         Industry cost share: $2,656,527

Mack Trucks, Inc. in Hagerstown, MD will develop and demonstrate an air-power-assist (APA) engine for improving fuel efficiency by 15 percent with emissions meeting the 2010 regulations. During braking, the engine would utilize braking energy to work as a compressor, pumping compressed air into an on-board tank.  During acceleration the engine is powered by the compressed air with or without burning diesel fuel until the compressed air is depleted.  The key technology development required for the APA engine is a fully-flexible engine valve actuation system.  The technology will be tested on a commercial diesel engine. Team members include UCLA, Sturman Industries and Advanced Energy Systems. 

DOE cost: $1,807,674.                         Industry cost share: $1,807,674

Exhaust Energy Recovery

Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, IL will develop a new air management and exhaust energy recovery system for commercial diesel engines. Electric turbocompounding and high efficiency air system technology will be key technology building blocks developed.  Additional system elements may be developed to support the energy recovery system.  Advanced engine system concepts that further enable exhaust energy recovery may also be investigated. 

DOE cost: $3,934,862.                         Industry cost share: $3,934,862

Cummins Inc. in Columbus, IN will develop a waste heat recovery system to support clean and efficient combustion and reduce heat rejection. This will include limited design and development of components, subsystems and associated electronic controls with integration into a commercial vehicle. Team members include International, Indiana University-Purdue University, University of Illinois-Urbana Champagne, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST). 

DOE cost: $5,545,165.                         Industry cost share: $5,545,165

Detroit Diesel Corporation in Detroit, MI will evaluate engine-based technologies to partially recover and convert exhaust energy into useful mechanical and electrical work.  The focus will be on the integration of technologies to achieve synergistic effects of the evaluated technologies.     A down-select of promising technologies is planned.  Testing would be performed in a commercial diesel engine.  Team members include Freightliner, Schneider and Holset Turbochargers.

DOE cost: $7,625,000.                         Industry cost share: $7,625,000

John Deere Product Engineering Center in Waterloo, IA will develop turbo compounding in heavy-duty applications including both agricultural tractors and on-highway trucks.  Optimization of system architecture will be a focus of the study with evaluations of factors impacting both system performance and packaging.  Testing will be performed to determine real-world benefit.  Team members include Eaton, EMP and Ricardo Technologies.

DOE cost: $4,803,119.                         Industry cost share: $4,803,119

Mack Trucks, Inc. in Hagerstown, MD will integrate a turbocharger and compounded turbine into an overall system that would include a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to optimize performance.  The complete engine / CVT will be demonstrated in commercial diesel vehicles.  Team members include Volvo and Silvatech Industries. 

DOE cost: $1,700,466.                         Industry cost share: $1,700,466

Media contact:  Tom Welch, 202/586-4316