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US and Sweden Expand Energy Cooperation; DOE to Work with Volvo AB/Mack Trucks on Advanced Vehicle R&D

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner and Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson recently signed an implementing agreement to further expand cooperation on renewable energy and vehicle technologies and establish a bilateral working group to explore prospective projects.

As a first step under the agreement, the DOE will work with Mack Trucks, a subsidiary of Volvo AB, to develop advanced commercial vehicle technologies.

DOE and Volvo are negotiating terms of a cost-shared project, which includes two key parts:

  • Analysis of the impact of different biofuels on a diesel engine in an effort to increase efficiency and fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of new long haul trucks; and

  • Development of hybrid vehicle technology for heavy-duty engines, coupled with waste heat recovery.

The new agreement furthers implementation of the US-Sweden Science and Technology Agreement, signed by both countries in June 2006.  The new agreement—the Implementing Arrangement on Cooperation on Research and Development, New Technologies, New Products, New Services, and Enhanced Resource Base for Renewable Energy—focuses cooperation on biomass production, transportation and automotive research, reducing the cost of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency.

The Government of Sweden and DOE with industrial partners and research universities in the US and Sweden plan to develop additional projects to advance technologies for fuel-efficient commercial vehicles utilizing renewable fuels.



"Development of hybrid vehicle technology for heavy-duty engines, coupled with waste heat recovery."

_This should be interesting.


When it comes to the fuel economy of long-haul trucking, I believe improved aerodynamics could play a major role.

I'm guessing the aerodynamic drag, which accounts for a very large fraction of the power demand, can be reduced by a factor of 2-3 with careful design.

Get rid of Christmas trees, sharp edges and all the extra gadgets hanging in the wind.

Some interesting designs could the be the result

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