WestStart-CALSTART Secures DOD Funding for Heavy-Duty Hybrid Truck and Dual-Use Technology Initiative

PASADENA, Calif.--Oct. 6, 2004--To accelerate the development of advanced heavy-duty vehicle technologies for military and commercial purposes, the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center (NAC) has provided WestStart-CALSTART with a $4.4 million contract.

The contract will support CALSTART's work in two main areas: heavy-duty hybrid truck deployment and dual-use technology development.

WestStart-CALSTART, the nation's leading advanced transportation technology organization, has been playing a national role as coordinator and facilitator of efforts to advance hybrid technology in the trucking industry. As with the passenger cars available for sale today, hybrid technology can significantly improve fuel economy and reduce harmful emissions from the nation's medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Truck hybrids are also potentially emerging as a U.S.-led technology: there are already more than 10 different leading U.S. manufacturers of heavy-duty hybrid propulsion systems.

"This program will support the Army's goal of developing future trucks that will be more energy efficient and capable of providing remote power generation. To have a strong military truck program, we need a strong U.S. commercial technology base," said John Boesel, President and CEO of WestStart-CALSTART.

The national Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) is a joint program between WestStart-CALSTART and the NAC to facilitate the commercialization of hybrid drivelines that would be used in both military and commercial vehicles. The HTUF program enjoys the participation of over 50 fleets representing roughly one million trucks. In the next six months funds from the NAC contract will be used to help buy-down the cost of pre-production hybrid electric work trucks that will be deployed and tested by more fleets nationwide.

"We appreciate federal support for this important national investment in a technology that will create U.S. jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil," added Boesel. "Because there is tremendous interest in this program, we were able to use these federal funds to leverage over four million dollars in non-federal investment."

In addition to the HTUF program, the award will also be used to support the joint NAC-WestStart-CALSTART Dual-Use Advanced Transportation Technology Initiative. Through the initiative, WestStart-CALSTART and the NAC will work together to identify, evaluate, and develop advanced transportation technologies that benefit both the commercial and military sectors. At its new headquarters building in Pasadena, utilizing state-of-the-art displays and communication technology, WestStart-CALSTART will provide briefings, host educational seminars, and facilitate information exchanges in coordination with the NAC.

WestStart-CALSTART is the nation's leading advanced transportation technology industry organization working to support and accelerate the growth of companies developing clean and energy efficient transportation technologies. Over 115 companies and agencies are WestStart-CALSTART participating organizations. The California operating division does business as CALSTART. For more information on this non-profit organization, visit www.weststart.org.

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