The US Government has awarded a total of $187m in grants for nine projects aimed at improving the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks.

The funding comes from over $100m from the $787bn economic stimulus plan announced in February 2009, and an additional 50% coming from the private sector.

Of the nine projects, three focus on improving fuel efficiency for long-haul freight trucks by 50% and the remaining six focus on improving fuel efficiency for passenger vehicle engines and powertrain systems.

The eventual target is to develop engine technologies that will improve the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 25%-40% by 2015 using an engine-only approach.

The companies securing the grant include General Motors, Ford Motor, Chrysler Group, Daimler, Cummins, Robert Bosch, Navistar and Delphi Holdings.