Department of Energy Announces SuperTruck 3 Project
Your tax dollars at work!
The United States government is the world’s single largest consumer of goods and services. One thing it spends money on is research and development to make life easier and safer for all Americans, and sometimes the world at large. To that extent, the Department of Energy has authorized $127 million in spending over the next five years to help fund research and development of electrified commercial vehicles, in a project known as SuperTruck 3.
History of SuperTruck Projects
SuperTruck was started in 2009. With a budget of $115 million, the goal was to make diesel fuel mileage in heavy-duty trucks 50% better. The results were big rigs that averaged 12 to 13 miles per gallon. The technology developed from this project is common in modern commercial trucks.
In 2016, SuperTruck 2 aimed to go even further beyond: a goal to double fuel efficiency on commercial vehicles running on diesel. While still in progress, the $137 million project has caused great strides in fuel efficiency technology.
SuperTruck 3 will run parallel to SuperTruck 2, but will focus on electrification technology, and include the medium-duty market as well.
The Benefactors of SuperTruck 3
For the next five years, up to $127 million, certain companies that spend money on the SuperTruck 3 research and development project will have their spending matched dollar-for-dollar by the United States government. Presumably, the United States government would have an ownership stake in any resulting patents and trade secrets.
The companies are:
- Daimler Trucks North America
- General Motors
- Volvo Group
As to what happens next in regards to commercial vehicle electrification is truly anyone’s guess. Talks about it have been raging for many years, but it seems like the most prominent brands are constantly delaying production.
It will be interesting to see which truck manufacturer gets an electric Class 8 to market first. With Tesla not in the SuperTruck 3 program, its chances of crossing the finish line first just became slightly smaller.
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