The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $162m in funding to boost efficiency and cut down carbon emissions levels in cars, trucks and off-road vehicles.

The funding is designed to support the next phase of the SuperTruck initiatives, which aim to electrify freight trucking as well as expand electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in order to reduce emissions in both on-road and off-road vehicles.

The SuperTruck initiatives were launched in 2009 by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to boost the efficiency of heavy-duty truck freight by 50%.

In 2016, SuperTruck Two was introduced in an effort to double the fuel efficiency for 18-wheeler (class 8) trucks.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said: “Getting to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 means we must aggressively cut down the largest source of emissions, namely the transportation sector.

“The DOE’s first two SuperTruck initiatives led the biggest truck makers in the American semi market to take massive leaps in fuel efficiency.

“This new funding triples down on that progress with a push towards electrifying trucks of all sizes, along with efforts to expand EV charging access and develop low-emission car engines.”

Through this funding, the DOE aims to address the emissions of passenger cars and light-duty trucks. These are the two largest contributors to transportation sector emissions and are claimed to be responsible for almost 60% of emissions.

A quarter of these emissions are released by medium and heavy-duty trucks.

While the transportation sector accounts for around 30% of total energy needs in the country, it also has the largest share in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) have partnered for the SuperTruck Three funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to provide up to $100m in funding over four years.

The funding will focus on a range of approaches to electrification, including all-electric, plug-in hybrid systems using renewable biofuels as well as hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

VTO will provide funding of up to $62.75m for innovative solutions to cut down emissions and increase efficiencies of on and off-road vehicles.

The funding offered by VTO is part of its Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment FOA.

The FOA will be provided to increase the EV infrastructure and charging, as well as community-level EV demonstrations that can lower barriers to EV adoption.

A FOA will also be provided for projects that develop advanced engines and fuels that generate lower emissions.