Portland, OR - The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced its selection of 25 cost-share projects under the Clean Cities program that will be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) will participate in at least seven program awards representing $32.9 million in funding to be applied toward the purchase and support of 638 hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles by several leading national fleet operators. Daimler's range of participation and deployment of vehicle technologies is expected to increase as selected Clean Cities programs, including those involving ports, municipal and school bus fleets, use funds toward vehicle purchases.
Working with its customers and dealers, DTNA helped to spearhead the submittal of these winning applications, which represent nearly $100 million in project value including over $84 million in vehicle costs and approximately $14 million in alternative fuel refueling infrastructure across the United States.
Funding for the projects was awarded based on applications submitted in partnership with Clean Cities Coalitions and directed to the DOE's "Clean Cities Petroleum Reduction Technologies Projects for the Transportation Sector Funding Opportunity." The ARRA and DOE Clean Cities funding encourages fleet adoption of clean, fuel-efficient diesel and alternative energy technologies that will stimulate the economy, create "green" jobs, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and generate near-zero levels of emissions.
The projects call for the deployment of multiple commercially available advanced and alternative fuel products offered by the company under its Freightliner and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) lines, including: hybrid electric, hybrid hydraulic, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid natural gas (LNG) trucks and tractors.
The DOE funding will be used to support the manufacture and sale of the following truck models:
Freightliner Business Class(r) M2e 106 hybrid electric trucks
Freightliner Business Class(r) M2 112 LNG tractors
Freightliner Business Class(r) M2 112 CNG trucks and tractors
Freightliner Custom Chassis hybrid electric walk-in vans
U.S. DOE support for DTNA customers includes funding for what will result in some of the nation's single largest heavy-duty alternative fuel deployment efforts to date.
Through its Freightliner Trucks division and as the parent company of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, DTNA offers one of the nation's most extensive lines of fuel efficient clean drive diesel trucks as well as a wide variety of applications in hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles that meet U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities program funding guidelines and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards.
"This award is important to our company on several levels," said Roger Nielsen, chief operating officer at DTNA. "It validates the efforts of our employees in their development of viable advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles for the sustainable future of our customers," Nielsen added. "And, it recognizes the vision of Daimler's leadership in creating 'green' jobs and opportunities for contributing to cleaner air and healthier communities."
The manufacture and sale of these trucks will support North American jobs. Freightliner Business Class M2e hybrid electric and M2 CNG and LNG vehicles are built in Mt. Holly, NC. Freightliner Custom Chassis hybrid electric and hydraulic hybrid walk-in van chassis are built in Gaffney, SC. Eaton hybrid components are manufactured in North Carolina and Parker Hannifin hydraulic components are manufactured at facilities throughout the United States.
"DOE's support underscores our customers' acceptance and preference for Daimler clean drive technologies, including the Freightliner and FCCC CNG, LNG and hybrid vehicles," said Mark Lampert, senior vice president sales, Daimler Trucks North America. "This exemplifies the value of a long line of Daimler technologies that deliver customer value, fuel efficiency and cleaner air - offering a win-win opportunity for everyone."
"Having experience in projects where clean air initiatives meet national and regional customer needs for cost-effective transportation, we saw tremendous opportunity here for Daimler leadership and Freightliner and FCCC hybrid and alternative fuel products," said Lampert.
"We are excited to have contributed to these successful applications for DOE funds and pleased to help our customers deploy advanced Freightliner technologies in their fleets," he added. "This will make a significant difference in their operations in terms of lower emissions, less use of foreign oil and a more sustainable approach to moving the goods that are critical to our economy."
Freightliner and Freightliner Custom Chassis hybrids offer energy-saving advantages through advanced technology. These systems are constantly being charged during braking, with the electric hybrid capturing about 25 percent of the braking energy and the hydraulic hybrids capturing up to 70 percent of the braking energy. This results in improved fuel economy, reduced brake wear, and quieter vehicle operation.
Freightliner Trucks offers hybrids in a variety of applications. Its M2e delivers up to a 40 percent improvement in fuel economy in the pick up and delivery segment, and up to a 60 percent improvement in fuel economy in the municipality and utility segment, where the vehicle needs power while stationary to repair overhead lines, trim trees, shred yard waste or vacuum out storm drains. The M2e also delivers up to 87 percent reduction in idling time while producing less noise for quieter work site operation.
FCCC was the first manufacturer in the chassis industry to introduce hybrid commercial chassis into fleet operations. Its hybrid-electric powertrain, combined with a diesel engine and electric motor, achieves an over 40 percent improvement in fuel economy and over 90 percent reduction in emissions compared to baseline non-hybrid vehicles, while demonstrating over 99 percent in-service up time.
DTNA was the first manufacturer to offer and deploy a factory built natural gas (NG) truck, and with this launch, became one of the first to put commercially viable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2010 emission compliant trucks on the road (two years ahead of 2010). Natural gas trucks reduce pollutants by more than 90 percent and, depending on the application, can save an estimated $6,000 in annual fuel and operating costs per truck. Because natural gas is a domestic resource, deployment of natural gas trucks also helps to meet the goal of the DOE program to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Earlier this year, Freightliner introduced its first natural gas-powered truck, the Freightliner Business Class M2 112 NG, which is ideal for port operations, natural gas utilities, and municipalities. The new natural gas trucks with next-generation natural gas powertrains have more power and burn cleaner.
DTNA has a long history of providing innovative technologies that benefit customers and the environment. DTNA's commitment to green technologies is part of Daimler AG's global "Shaping Future Transportation" initiative. Launched in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007, the initiative is focused on reducing criteria pollutants (identified and regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other air quality agencies around the world), carbon dioxide and fuel consumption.
Freightliner Trucks is a division of, and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of, Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and the leading medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.