Alt fuel R&D gets big boost from DOE

The U.S. Energy Department (DOE) will be providing $18 million for the research and development of alt fuel technology, which will include medium and heavy duty vehicles.

DOE will be supporting five projects for research, development, and demonstration of innovative plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) and direct injection propane engine technologies, as well as community-based projects to accelerate the adoption of light, medium and heavy duty vehicles that operate on fuels such as biodiesel, electricity, E85, hydrogen, natural gas and propane.

“Public investment in advanced, energy efficient transportation technologies and systems will improve our nation’s energy security, support energy independence, reduce transportation emissions, and strengthen U.S. economic competiveness,” the DOE said in a press release. “The projects selected today will accelerate the development and adoption of alternative fuel technologies, and support pioneering deployments of market-ready vehicles and alternative fuels.”

Odyne Systems in Pewaukee, Wis. will receive $2.9 million to develop and demonstrate plug-in hybrid Class 7 work trucks that reduce fuel consumption by more than 50 percent and eliminate fuel consumption during stationary operations.

Blue Bird Body Company in Fort Valley, Ga. will receive $4.9 million to develop and demonstrate a battery-powered electric school bus that improves propulsion energy efficiency by 20-30 percent and that can connect to the electric grid (vehicle-to-grid).

Blossman Services in Swannanoa, N.C. will receive $2 million to develop a 4.3-liter propane direct injection engine and emission control system that will be demonstrated on a package delivery vehicle.  Direct injection engine technology offers improved performance and saves fuel.

PacifiCorp in Portland, Ore. will receive $3.9 million to accelerate PEV adoption by developing electric highway corridors along I-15, I-80, I-70, and I-84 in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Ill. will receive $4.9 million to deploy multi-fuel stations (including electric vehicle charging stations, compressed natural gas, biofuels, and propane stations) and alternative fuel vehicles (including electric drive) along I-94 from Port Huron, Michigan to the North Dakota border.

DOE reports that its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, economic vitality and quality of life.