Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 21, 2000

Vice President Gore Announces Agreement with Major Truck Manufacturers to Develop Super Fuel-Efficient Trucks and Buses

Detroit, MI -- Vice President Gore announced today a new research partnership with many of the nation’s largest heavy-duty engine and truck companies to develop super fuel-efficient vehicles that will dramatically improve America's fuel economy while cutting greenhouse gases and other air pollution.

"This new technology will reduce our consumption of foreign oil, clean our air and ultimately make our roads safer," Vice President Gore said. "The heavy truck manufacturing industry deserves great credit for pledging to work with this Administration to create trucks and buses that are cleaner, safer and more economical. We have learned that a strong economy and a safe environment go hand in hand."

The goal of the 21st Century Truck Initiative is to develop revolutionary technologies for increasing the fuel economy and safety of four specific classes of commercial trucks and buses, which account for more than 90% of all fuel used by all such vehicles in the U.S. This partnership to develop advanced technologies is designed to lead, within 10 years, to "production prototypes" that:

  • Triple the fuel economy of heavy pickups, large delivery vans, and full-sized passenger buses;
  • Double fuel economy for 18-wheeler long-haul trucks;
  • Improve safety ;
  • Achieve superior operational performance and lower costs for truckers;
  • Exceed expected emission requirements for 2010 by making major reductions in NOx, particulates, and other local air pollutants.

The initiative will also strengthen our national security by dramatically cutting operational support costs and increasing combat effectiveness. As the U.S. Army transforms itself to be a lighter, more mobile force (70% of the bulk tonnage needed to sustain the Army during a conflict is fuel), the rapid integration of advanced commercially viable technologies into trucks is vital.

The Administration’s FY2001 budget proposes to increase spending in areas supporting 21st Century truck research by $47 Million to a total of $142 Million--a 48% increase. Research priorities, which will be developed in cooperation with industry partners, will include advanced engines, fuel cells, lightweight materials, advanced propulsion technologies, vehicle design, and advanced emission control and vehicle safety systems.

" Now is the time to lead the world in the emerging market for more fuel-efficient vehicles of all kinds, " the Vice President said.

The new partnership links many of the nation’s largest manufacturers of heavy trucks and truck components with research teams in four federal agencies: the Departments of Defense (represented by the U.S. Army), Energy, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Industry participants are: Mack Trucks, Oshkosh Trucks, PACCAR, Volvo Trucks North America, Cummins Engine Company, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel Corporation, Eaton Corporation, and Lockheed Martin Control Systems.

Please click here for more details on the 21st Century Truck initiative.

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