Fuel Efficiency Projects to be Unveiled

Cars drive on a major highway during peak hour traffic on the first day of a test to reduce car numbers in Beijing, China, Friday, Aug. 17, 2007. City officials yanked hundreds of thousands of private cars off Beijing's streets Friday to test whether a partial car ban could clear health-threatening smog and ease gridlock during next year's Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) AP

The Obama administration will announce on Monday funding for nine projects designed to significantly increase fuel efficiency in heavy trucks and passenger vehicles, with more than half the money coming from the $787 billion stimulus package.

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu will detail the projects during a ceremony in Columbus, Indiana, home of Cummins Inc., which will receive nearly $40 million to develop a more efficient and cleaner diesel engine, a more aerodynamic long-haul truck cab and trailer, and a fuel cell that would deliver auxiliary power to reduce engine idling while the vehicle is not on the road.

The White House said the nine projects would receive $187 million from the federal government, with more than $100 million coming from stimulus funds and the remainder from the Department of Energy. Recipients are expected to match government funding, creating a total investment of $375 million.

A report Sunday said the average price of regular gasoline in the United States is up 14 cents over a three-week period to $2.74.

According to the administration, the nine recipients are expected to create more than 500 research, engineering and management jobs, with 6,000 more jobs anticipated when the technologies go into production and assembly.

In detailing the awards, the administration said the new technologies, when in broad use, "could save more than 100 million gallons of oil per day and reduce carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by 20 percent by 2030."

Three of the projects, receiving $115 million, are aimed at improving long-haul truck fuel efficiency by 50 percent, with new designs supposed to be ready by 2015.

In additions to Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, of Portland, Ore., will receive nearly $40 million; Navistar Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., is in line for $27.3 million.

The remaining six projects for passenger vehicles will spread more than $71 million among Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Delphi Automotive Systems, Robert Bosch and a second Cummins project.

The money will go to companies based in economically hard-hit Michigan and Indiana, with the exception of Daimler Trucks.
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