Portland-based Daimler Trucks North America received nearly $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy on Monday to develop energy efficiency technologies for heavy-duty trucks. The company will match the grant with an additional $40 million.
Daimler received the largest single slice of the $187 million in federal grants announced Monday, all of which was given to auto industry manufacturers to develop fuel-efficient engines and other technologies for trucks and passenger vehicles by 2015.
A news release from the Department of Energy said Daimler’s share will be used to work on engine downsizing, electrification of auxiliary systems like oil and water pumps, waste heat recovery, improved aerodynamics and hybridization.
A spokesperson for Daimler said the majority of the $80 million will be spent in the Portland area on its SuperTruck project. The company’s research and development division, which employs 750, is based on Swan Island.
It could be another significant development for the Swan Island plant, which company officials planned to close this year until announcing in September that it was changing course.
Among the reasons for keeping the plant open was a $377 million contract from the U.S. Army to make 1,780 military trucks.
The grants awarded Monday includes $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and covers up to half of the cost of each project, bringing the total public-private investment for the projects to $375 million.
The nine companies to receive grant awards claim their projects will create more than 500 jobs for researchers, engineers and other managers developing the technologies. The projects are expected to generate as many as 6,000 jobs by 2015, including many in manufacturing and assembly.
A majority of the federal grants, $115 million, went to three manufacturers in the long-haul truck industry. Alongside Daimler were Columbus, Ind.-based engine-maker Cummins Inc. and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based truck- and trailer-maker Navistar Inc.
The remaining $71 million went to manufacturers in the passenger vehicle market with a goal of improving the fuel economy of engines by 25 to 40 percent in the next five years. Recipients include Cummins, the Chrysler Group LLC, Delphi Automotive Systems LLC, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and The Bosch Group.
Portland Business Journal – http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2010/01/11/daily1.html