Stabenow, Peters Announce Grant to Develop Efficient Auto Generators in Farmington Hills

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters (MI) today announced a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to MAHLE Powertrain, a global automotive systems supplier located in Farmington Hills, to develop and optimize a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generator. The generator uses an internal combustion engine with a turbulent jet ignition, which enables the system to operate under ultra-lean conditions and increase thermal efficiency. Oak Ridge National Laboratory will work with the company to develop an innovative low-temperature after-treatment system to reduce exhaust emissions.

"Today's announcement is another example of the innovation and leadership of Michigan's businesses who are leading the way in developing new technologies," Senator Stabenow said. "This investment in auto manufacturing will help reduce pollution and improve fuel efficiency so families pay less at the pump."

"Making sure that our auto manufacturers and suppliers are equipped to lead the way in cutting-edge technologies will help the American auto industry continue to thrive and compete globally," said Senator Peters. "It's fitting that an auto systems supplier in Michigan is helping to pioneer these technological advances to figure out new solutions for cutting fuel costs and emissions while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Investing in innovative research is key to developing the next generation of fuel-efficient automobiles here at home, and this support from the Department of Energy will help make these cars of the future a reality for businesses and consumers."

"MAHLE Powertrain is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory," said Hugh Blaxill, head of MAHLE Powertrain North America. "Combustion development is a key enabler to achieving future fuel economy and emissions targets. MAHLE Powertrain's years in developing advanced combustion research utilizing a pre-chamber jet ignition combustion system will be a key factor in developing a low-temperature after-treatment system that can be used to reduce exhaust emissions."

The grant is funded through the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private sector investment, helping to develop entirely new ways to generate, store and use energy. The grant is part of one of ARPA-E's newest programs, GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS), aimed at developing generator technologies that will improve efficiencies in CHP generation.

MAHLE Powertrain provides engineering services and products in a broad range of powertrain markets, with a strong focus on designing and developing gasoline, diesel and alternative fuel engines. MAHLE Powertrain is a wholly owned subsidiary of MAHLE Industries Inc., a leading global development partner for the automotive and engine industry offering unique systems competence in the areas of engine systems, filtration, electrics/mechatronics and thermal management.