I’m from the government and I am here to help

Jan. 13, 2017
Dept. of Engergy wants to fund research into vehicle efficiency

There’s an old joke about how hearing that phrase makes folks very afraid because they think something really bad is going to happen.

But I recently read about something that the government is doing that I think actually will help.

The Energy Department recently announced $19.7 million for research and development of advanced vehicle technologies. This would include things like lightweighting, batteries and advanced combustion engines.

Of course all of this is subject to appropriations but regardless of whether it gets funded or not the fact that the government is seeking projects to fund that will focus on reducing emissions is a good thing.

Products and technologies that will improve fuel efficiencies need to be developed now more than ever as we are working toward meeting Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 emissions standards. But R&D is not cheap and any help the industry can get to underwrite some of the costs is a benefit.

Lighweighting is a good example of a technology that needs to be explored. In our Confidence Report on Lightweighting we found that material innovation was one of the keys to the future success of lightweighting along with reducing the time to market.

Opportunities like this one presented by the DOE could go a long way toward finding those new materials that will both weigh less and be able to stand up to the rigors of trucking.

In other lightweighting news, the Lightweight Technology Council of the Green Truck Association announced that its Lightweight and Advanced Technology Demo Truck Display will include trucks that feature aluminum and other components and technologies that reduce weight and offer fuel saving benefits.

I’ll be speaking during the Green Truck Summit at the Work Truck Show and NACFE will be hosting a workshop as well. You can review the agenda and register for the workshop here.  See you in Indianapolis!

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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