This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 28, 2011

Engine and Powertrain Efficiency Projects Get $8.4 Million DOE Boost

DOE announced on September 27 it will award $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. Four projects in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin will focus on innovations that achieve breakthrough thermal efficiencies while meeting federal emission standards. The technologies will include passenger vehicles—cars and light trucks—as well as commercial vehicles, including long-haul tractor-trailers. These technologies 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 projects will focus on developing and testing new technologies 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 the scale needed to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions nationally.

Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, will develop and demonstrate low-cost sensors and controls that can reduce the overall cost and complexity of engine and emission control systems. General Motors of Pontiac, Michigan, will focus on a novel technology that enables the use of high dilution in the combustion chamber, significantly improving the fuel economy. Eaton Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will work on an advanced component technology for diesel engine heat recovery systems that are capable of improving the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles. And, MAHLE Powertrain of Novi, Michigan, will develop a next-generation combined ignition/turbo-charging concept that will enable the implementation of ultra lean-burn technology to engines. See the DOE press release.