Mack partners with DOE on vehicle research

Mack Trucks announced today it will work with the U S Department of Energy on a project to develop environmentally friendly commercial vehicle technologies, with an initial goal of reducing fuel consumption and primary CO2 emissions from heavy-duty trucks by more than 10%.

The project is to be cost-shared between the Volvo Group, of which Mack is a part, and DOE, and the combined investment is expected to be in the range of $9 million.

The project is the first to be discussed under the Implementing Arrangement on Renewable Energy Cooperation established today between the United States and Sweden in Stockholm. Mack is participating as a result of a cooperation agreement between DOE and the Volvo Group. Much of the work will be performed by Volvo Powertrain North America, supplier of engines to Mack.

“These cooperative ventures are absolutely critical,” said Paul Vikner, Mack president and CEO. “Governments, companies and universities must work together to ensure the successful development and commercialization of environmentally-friendly technologies.”

As part of the project, Mack will investigate the reduction of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty trucks through a focus on very high fuel economy. This will include advanced hybrid technologies and conversion of exhaust heat, which would otherwise be wasted, to useful energy. The project’s other main goal is optimized use of biofuels in diesel engines and evaluation of the characteristics of several bio-based alternative diesel fuels.

Vikner emphasized that care for the environment is a Mack corporate core value.

“The trucks we’re building today in compliance with 2007 EPA regulations emit 50% less oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, and 90% less particulate matter, or soot, than their predecessors just a year ago – and NOx levels will go down another 80% in 2010,” he said. “Mack is also partnering with the United States Air Force in the development of heavy-duty hybrid trucks as an another step in bringing this clean technology to the commercial marketplace.”

The company’s commitment to environmental care also extends to it manufacturing operations. For example, at the assembly plant in Macungie, PA, where all Mack vocational trucks are built, over the last four years:

  • Energy consumption has been reduced 68%
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions are down 94%
  • Sulfur dioxide emissions have been virtually eliminated
  • Carbon dioxide emissions are down 70%, and
  • Waste sent to landfills has been reduced 24%.
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