As described in its multiyear program plan for 1998-2000, the Office of Heavy Vehicle
Technologies (OHVT) envisions the development of a fuel-flexible, energy-efficient, near-zero-
emissions, heavy-duty U.S. diesel engine technology devolving into all truck classes as a real
and viable strategy for reducing energy requirements for commercial transport services and the
rapidly growing multipurpose vehicle market (pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles).
Implementation of the OHVT program plan will have significant national benefits in energy
savings, cleaner air, more jobs, and increased gross domestic product (GDP). Successful
implementation will reduce the petroleum consumption of Class 1-8 trucks by 1.4 million barrels
of oil per day by 2020 and over 1.8 million by 2030, amounting to a reduction in highway
petroleum consumption of 13.2% and 18.6%, respectively. All types of regulated emissions will
be reduced, that is, 20% drop in PM10 emissions (41,000 metric tons per year) by 2030, 17%
reduction in CO
greenhouse gases (205 million metric tons per year), 7% reduction in NO
reduction in NMHC, and 30% reduction in CO. An increase of 15,000 jobs by 2020 is expected,
as is an increase of $24 billion in GDP.
The strategy of OHVT is to focus primarily on the diesel engine since it has numerous
advantages. It has the highest efficiency of any engine today, 45% versus 30% for production
gasoline engines; and it can be made more efficient at least to 55% and possibly up to 63%. It is
the engine of choice for heavy vehicles (trucks), because it offers power, efficiency, durability,
and reliability and is used extensively in rail, marine, and off-road applications. Its emission can
be ultra-low to near zero, and the production infrastructure is already in place.
The primary goals of OHVT are as follows:
Develop by 2002 the diesel-engine enabling technologies to support large-scale
industry dieselization of light trucks, achieving a 35% fuel efficiency improvement
over equivalent gasoline-fueled trucks.
Develop by 2004 the enabling technology for a Class 7-8 truck with a fuel efficiency
of 10 mpg (at 65 mph) that will meet prevailing emission standards, using either
diesel or a liquid alternative fuel.
Develop by 2006 diesel engines with fuel flexibility and a thermal efficiency of 55%
with liquid alternative fuels, and a thermal efficiency of 55% with dedicated gaseous
Develop a methodology for analyzing and evaluating the operation of a heavy vehicle
as an integrated system, considering such factors as engine efficiency; emissions;
rolling resistance; aerodynamic drag; friction, wear, and lubrication effects; auxiliary
power units; material substitutions for reducing weight; and other sources of parasitic
energy losses. Overarching these considerations is the need to preserve system
functionality, cost, competitiveness, reliability, durability, and safety.