January 15, 2010 Volume 111 Number 2

Daimler gets $40 million to develop fuel efficient trucks

Portland-headquartered Daimler Trucks North America was awarded a $40 million grant from the federal government to develop new technologies aimed at improving fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks.

In a conference call with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, members of Oregon’s congressional delegation, and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Sen. Jeff Merkley said he was told 85 jobs will be created in Portland the first year, researchers, engineers, and managers who will develop the new technologies. and more than 400 jobs long term.

The Daimler grant is the largest of nine awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Projects were selected nationwide to improve fuel efficiency for both trucks and cars. Awardees also committed to a 50 percent cost-share, which means Daimler will invest $80 million in research, development and demonstration. Total funding is more than $187 million and includes more than $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Chu said the nine projects will create over 500 jobs initially, and as many as 6,000 jobs — many in manufacturing and assembly — by 2015.

Daimler is currently in negotiations with four unions that represent roughly 600 employees at its truck manufacturing plant in Portland. Daimler had planned to close the Swan Island facility in June, but has since changed its mind.

The sides hope to have a tentative agreement by Feb. 1.

“I believe Daimler has every intention of staying in Oregon and growing,” said Kulongoski, who recently met with top Daimler officials in Germany.

Currently, the transportation sector accounts for 28 percent of total U.S. energy use. As these vehicle technologies are adopted broadly across the country, they could save more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per day, and reduce carbon emissions from on-road vehicles by 20 percent by 2030, said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.


 “Improving the efficiency of our vehicles is critical to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and addressing climate change,” said Energy Secretary Chu.  “Today’s awards will help demonstrate the potential benefits for long-haul trucks and passenger vehicles and will play an important role in building a more sustainable transportation system for the country.”


Daimler’s is one of three projects that will focus on cost-effective measures to improve the efficiency of Class 8 long-haul freight trucks by 50 percent. 

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.