Energy Department Awards $8.4 Million for Projects to Improve Engine and Powertrain Efficiency

September 27, 2011

Secretary Chu today announced $8.4 million over three to four years for suppliers and vehicle manufacturers to develop and demonstrate technologies that increase the efficiency of engines and powertrain systems for future highway transportation vehicles. Four projects, located in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, will focus on new innovations that achieve breakthrough thermal efficiencies while meeting federal emission standards for passenger vehicles—cars and light trucks—as well as commercial vehicles, including long-haul tractor trailers. These technologies for engines and powertrains will help automakers and truck engine manufacturers achieve higher efficiencies than ever before, while meeting or exceeding the recently-announced vehicle fuel economy standards intended to help reduce U.S. demand for oil imports and save consumers money at the pump.

"The Department of Energy is investing in new technologies that will significantly improve vehicle fuel economy, save consumers money, and create skilled jobs for Americans," said Secretary Chu. "By encouraging innovations to help make America's vehicle fleet more fuel efficient, the Obama Administration is working to improve the nation's energy security and reduce our reliance on imported oil."

The projects announced today will focus on developing and testing new technologies for engines and powertrains that could reduce cost and address technical barriers currently inhibiting the wider use of advanced engine technologies in the mass market. Projects will also validate technologies developed at the engine or system level to help ensure that these innovations can advance into broad commercial use at a scale needed to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions nationally.

The four projects selected for award are:

  • Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc. – Cambridge, Massachusetts – $2.0 million
    Filter Sensing Technologies will develop and demonstrate low-cost, robust sensors and controls that can reduce the overall cost and complexity of engine and emission control systems, while delivering tangible performance benefits. The initial focus will be on U.S. heavy-duty vehicles.
  • General Motors LLC – Pontiac, Michigan – $1.4 million
    General Motors will develop and demonstrate a novel technology that enables the use of high dilution in the combustion chamber significantly improving the fuel economy of vehicles compared to conventional engines.
  • Eaton Corporation – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – $2.5 million
    Eaton will develop and demonstrate advanced component technology for heavy-duty diesel engine waste heat recovery systems that are capable of improving the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles.
  • MAHLE Powertrain LLC – Novi, Michigan – $2.5 million
    MAHLE will develop a next-generation combined ignition/turbo-charging concept that will enable the implementation of ultra lean-burn technology to engines, improving efficiency and significantly reducing the formation of pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

Additionally, on August 10, 2011, DOE announced more than $175 million for advanced vehicle research and development projects.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE's portfolio of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle technologies for cars and trucks that will help America to use significantly less petroleum and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.