By Nima Kapadia

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) have extended their partnership with Volvo another three years to develop commercial trucks with greater fuel efficiency. The partnership is an extension of a one-year agreement signed by the three groups in June 2007, with the overall objective of creating heavy-duty engines with at least 10 percent greater fuel efficiency then diesel engines.

A total of $48 million will be used to:

  • Test and analyze the impact of different biofuels on diesel engines to increase efficiency and fuel economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of new long haul trucks.
  • Develop hybrid vehicle technology for heavy-duty engines and coupled with waste heat recovery.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green house gas emissions from commercial trucks are steadily increasing. Last year’s statistics reveal green house emissions from commercial trucks are up 69 percent, producing more emissions than commercial airliners.

“This partnership is a step in the right direction,” said Volvo CEO Leif Johansson in a statement. “The climate issue and increasing fuel prices make energy use and energy efficiency some of the most important societal issues of our time.”

“The transportation industry has a special responsibility and this research and development co-operation with the U.S. Government is crucial in our efforts to develop the technology required by both our customers and society as a whole.”

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