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DOE awards $5M to Achates Power to develop next-generation medium-duty opposed-piston engine for commercial vehicles

Achates Power was awarded a $5-million cooperative agreement from the US Department of Energy in 2020 for a new two-cylinder prototype demonstration and concept design of a next-generation medium-duty commercial vehicle opposed-piston engine.

This new project will create and test designs that increase fuel efficiency and minimize the criteria emissions from Class 3-6 opposed-piston engines with a particular emphasis on two- and four-cylinder opposed-piston engine variants.

Design and calibration improvements will use a common power cylinder configuration across several different engine variants in order to enable a cost-effective broad range of power and torque capability for an efficient family of engines.

Achates Power will work with Isuzu Technical Center of America (ITCA), Clemson University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison as project members.

  • Clemson will undertake engine simulation, open-cycle computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and analysis, and model-based calibration, and will test a two-cylinder opposed-piston engine.

  • The University of Wisconsin will contribute closed-cycle CFD to optimize clean, efficient combustion. 

  • ITCA will provide vehicle and engine requirements and benchmark information.

We’ve demonstrated the ability for a commercial vehicle engine to operate with near zero criteria emissions while also emitting substantially lower CO2 than best-in-class conventional engines, all in a practical and cost-effective manner.

In order to fully maximize the utility of the opposed-piston in the commercial vehicle industry we need to offer a broad range of power and torque capabilities. Working with the world-class teams at Clemson, Wisconsin, and Isuzu, the project helps lead us towards more sustainable transportation.

—David Crompton, president and CEO, Achates Power

In December 2020, Achates Power announced that its 10.6L heavy-duty commercial vehicle project, funded by the California Air Resources Board, had achieved both the ULNOX and CO2 reduction milestones, and that vehicle integration was proceeding. (Earlier post.) Demonstration vehicles will be on the road in 2021 in a commercial fleet application.



It would be nice to see this engine in production.

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