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DOE to Work with Volvo AB/Mack Trucks on Advanced Vehicle R&D

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner and Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson today signed an implementing agreement to further expand cooperation on renewable energy and vehicle technologies and establish a bilateral working group to explore prospective projects.

Also today, as a first step under the Agreement, Assistant Secretary Karsner announced plans for transatlantic cooperation between DOE and Mack Trucks, a subsidiary of Volvo AB, to develop environmentally friendly commercial vehicle technologies.  The results of this research and development further President Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, which seeks to change the way we power our cars, homes and businesses by increasing the use of clean energy technologies.

"Under today's Agreement, we commit to work together and share information, so that both of our countries and the rest of the world can benefit from cleaner, greener vehicle technologies and a better environment," Assistant Secretary Karsner said.  "Advancing the use of clean energy technologies will help address global challenges of reducing emissions while ensuring enhanced economic growth and increased energy security."

This Agreement furthers implementation of the U.S.-Sweden Science and Technology Agreement, signed by both countries in June 2006.  The Agreement - officially titled the Implementing Arrangement on Cooperation on Research and Development, New Technologies, New Products, New Services, and Enhanced Resource Base for Renewable Energy - focuses cooperation on biomass production, transportation and automotive research, reducing the cost of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency.

"This is an important step in the work for developing new, clean and efficient technology for the energy and transport sector.  International cooperation is necessary when it comes to energy research and development - the common challenges before us are so big," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson said.

DOE and Volvo are negotiating terms of a cost-shared project, which includes two key parts: first, analysis of the impact of different biofuels on a diesel engine in an effort to increase efficiency and fuel economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of new long haul trucks; and second, development of hybrid vehicle technology for heavy-duty engines, coupled with waste heat recovery.  In an effort to encourage renewable energy cooperation between the two countries, the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm played a crucial coordinating this Agreement.

"This is a big step toward replacing some of the fossil fuels that we burn in big engines with cleaner alternatives.  I'm excited that we've been able to work out this initial funding and look forward to seeing the projects implemented as soon as possible," said U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Michael Wood.

Last month, President George Bush and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt discussed continued bilateral cooperation, during Prime Minister Reinfeldt's visit to the United States.  The Prime Minister concluded his U.S. trip at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, where he toured demonstration on solar energy, biofuels, wind power, and hybrid vehicles. The Government of Sweden and DOE with industrial partners and research universities in the U.S. and Sweden plan to develop additional projects to advance technologies for fuel-efficient commercial vehicles utilizing renewable fuels.

Additional information is available on DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy homepage.

Media contact(s):

Julie Ruggiero, (202) 586-4940