February 14, 2008

CARDIN, MIKULSKI MEET WITH VOLVO POWERTRAIN, ANNOUNCE FUNDS TO COMPLETE HYBRID ENGINE PROJECT

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today met with representatives from Volvo-Mack Powertrain who thanked them for the federal investment in the Hybrid Electric Engine project at the Volvo Powertrain facility in Hagerstown.  Senator Mikulski announced she secured $2 million in the fiscal year 2008 Department of Defense spending bill to complete the project.  To download a photo from today's meeting, go to: http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/volvo.html.  

"I am so proud to have secured the funding for the Hybrid Electric Engine project to reduce our dependence on foreign fuel, provide our troops with the tools they need, protect the environment, and at the same time bring more jobs to Hagerstown," said Senator Mikulski.  "A stronger America begins at home.  Maryland's innovation economy is fueled by technology and brain power, not foreign oil.  The technology developed in Hagerstown will drive our economy, creating the products and the jobs that will make America safer and smarter."

"The American economy has been dependent on foreign energy for far too long.  I strongly support continued federal investment in this state-of-the-art hybrid electric technology, and I thank Volvo Powertrain for putting Maryland on the cutting edge of critical development that is essential to our goal of energy independence," said Senator Cardin.

The Hybrid Electric Engine project partners Volvo with the U.S. Air Force to develop a hybrid truck for Air Force refueling operations.  The Hybrid Electric Powertrain for heavy-duty trucks combines a diesel engine with an electric motor to enhance vehicle performance and fuel economy, and reduce emissions.  The project supports close to 2,000 employees at the Volvo Powertrain facility in Hagerstown.  Within 10 years, it is possible that every heavy truck in North America could be powered by an engine built in Hagerstown.

Since 2002, Senator Mikulski has secured a total of $14 million for the Hybrid Electric Engine project.  The funding supports research on translating hybrid technology to large truck engines, development of second generation truck hybrid technology, and construction of four prototype engines.  Senator Mikulski toured the Volvo Powertrain Facility in 2005.

Meeting with the Senators today were: new Senior Vice President of Volve Powertrain of North America Carlos Hungria, President of Mack Trucks Paul Vikner, Jonathan Miller of Volvo government relations, and Project Manager of the Hybrid Electric Powertrain Program Guy Rini.

Senator Mikulski is a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  Senator Cardin is a member of the Budget Committee.