Sweden's Volvo Group — including its Mack Trucks unit — has announced the company will work with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on a project to develop environmentally friendly commercial vehicle technologies.

The initial goal will be to reduce 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 and DOE, and the combined investment is expected to be in the range of $9- million.

“This means we can implement a number of projects within the environmental area that would otherwise not have been possible,” says Jan-Eric Sundgren, member of the Volvo Group Executive Committee, responsible for Public & Environmental Affairs. “We hope that our participation will lead to more cooperation aimed at sustainable development.”

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 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. Much of that work will be performed by Volvo Powertrain North America.

The project is the first to be discussed under the Implementing Arrangement on Renewable Energy Cooperation established this week between the United States and Sweden. It falls under the auspices of the bilateral Science and Technology Agreement established last June between the two countries.

“These cooperative ventures are absolutely critical,” says Paul L. Vikner, Mack president & CEO. “Governments, companies and universities must work together to ensure the successful development and commercialization of environmentally friendly technologies. And we at Mack are very excited to be at the forefront of the effort to enable sustainable transportation. Mack is also partnering with the U.S. Air Force in the development of heavy-duty hybrid trucks as an another step in bringing this very clean technology to the commercial marketplace.”