Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the selection of nine projects to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles, including a $12-million project in which the University of Michigan partners with Robert Bosch.
The funding, which totals $187 million, includes more than $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and with a private cost share of 50 percent, will support nearly $375 million in total research, development and demonstration projects across the country.
Robert Bosch of Farmington Hills, Mich., will partner with automotive research teams led by Dennis Assanis and Anna Stefanopoulos in U-M’s College of Engineering to work on a combustion technology that allows for lower emissions and higher efficiency to achieve up to 30 percent fuel economy improvement in gasoline-fueled passenger cars and trucks.
Specifically, the work is aimed to demonstrate a high compression, turbo-charged engine based on homogenous charge compression ignition technology.
Assanis is director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute. Stefanopoulos is director of the U-M Automotive Research Center and is an Energy Institute fellow.
The nine winners have stated their projects will create more than 500 jobs, primarily researchers, engineers, and managers who will develop these new technologies. By 2015, the projects expect to create more than 6,000 jobs – many in manufacturing and assembly.
The Bosch project is one of six totaling more than $71 million that will support efforts to increase the fuel economy for passenger vehicle engines and powertrain systems. The goal is to develop engine technologies that will improve the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 25-40 percent by 2015 using an engine-only approach.
The three remaining projects totaling $115 million will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the efficiency of Class 8 long-haul freight trucks by 50 percent.