WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University has announced a new effort aimed at cutting fuel consumption half for commercial vehicles by perfecting hybrid technologies for the world’s truck fleets.
The Hoosier Heavy Hybrid Center of Excellence is funded with a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Graduate Automotive Technology Education Initiative. Buses and trucks, particularly vehicles use to transport goods, represent a huge percentage of global fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions, said Gregory Shaver, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and the center’s principal investigator.
“There is a lot of potential to increase the efficiency of these vehicles,” said Shaver. The five-year program began Oct. 1.
Reducing fuel consumption for commercial vehicles by 50 percent would cut petroleum use by about 15 billion gallons a year.
The program includes fellowships for up to eight students, an annual workshop, seminar series and the creation of a new course on medium- and heavy-duty electric hybrid vehicles.