21st Century Truck Logo

Medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks play a vital role in moving freight and passengers, serving as the backbone of America's economy. These trucks also play essential roles in other parts of society, such as maintaining our electricity infrastructure, collecting refuse, and maintaining the highway system. Improving the vehicle efficiency and safety of freight transportation while minimizing environmental impact is vital to helping the country decrease its petroleum use as the economy grows.

Leading the way, the 21st Century Truck PartnershipSM is addressing these important national challenges related to medium-duty and heavy-duty truck efficiency, safety, and emissions by pursuing collaborative research and development among government and industry partners. The 21st Century Truck Partnership's overall vision is for our nation's trucks and buses to safely and cost-effectively move larger volumes of freight and greater numbers of passengers while emitting little or no pollution and dramatically reducing the dependency on foreign oil.

The 21st Century Truck Partnership is addressing the technical needs of the medium- and heavy-duty truck industry, as well as major policy goals for government agencies, through three main activities:

  • Accelerate technology development through collaborative, pre-regulatory, and pre-competitive R&D component and system-level projects.
  • Focus R&D efforts on topics of broad interest by providing a discussion forum and organizing consensus building tools such as roadmaps and position papers that help Partnership members come to agreement on R&D topics and goals. The Partnership provides opportunities for collaborative discussion on research needs, and reference materials to maximize the productivity of these discussions.
  • Information exchange and dissemination through regular conference calls, meetings, and information dissemination tools. These resources help Partners access current information about industry and government activities and opportunities.

The Partnership has carefully examined the power use in a typical heavy truck to identify areas where research efforts can lead to major improvements in truck fuel efficiency, including engine thermal efficiency, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and drivetrain efficiency. The 21st Century Truck Partnership Research Blueprint, released in 2019, is a summary of the Partnership’s updated collaborative research efforts to make transportation energy more affordable and secure. The Partnership is developing all-new roadmap documents with additional details to provide the technical foundation for research priorities, and the reader is encouraged to review these resources for more information.

21st Century Truck Partners

  • Industry Partners: Allison Transmission Inc.; Cummins Inc.; Daimler Trucks North America LLC; DENSO International America, Inc.; Detroit Diesel Corporation; Eaton; Ford Motor Company; Mack Trucks; Meritor, Inc.; Navistar, Inc.; Nova Bus Inc.; Oshkosh Corporation; PACCAR Inc.; Volvo Trucks North America.
  • Federal Government Partners:  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Participating National Laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory.

Technical Focus Areas

  • Engine Systems (engine, fuel, and emissions equipment)
  • Drivetrain (Transmissions, drive axles, electric hybrid drive systems and energy storage)
  • Power Demands (aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, drivetrain losses, auxiliary loads, idling reduction)
  • Safety (crash avoidance, intelligent transportation systems)
  • Operational Efficiency (vehicle duty cycle, application, driver impacts)

For more information on the 21st Century Truck Partnership please contact 21ctp@ee.doe.gov