Fuel efficiency has always been a watchword among government fleets, but thanks to a massive research program launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nearly two years ago, fuel economy for light, medium and heavy-duty trucks should increase significantly in the very near future.

And it better, because light trucks face new federal fuel economy improvement mandates starting in 2016 that roll on through 2025, while commercial vehicles must comply with similar regulations beginning in 2014 on into 2018 (see sidebar).

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says manufacturers are on the cusp of big breakthroughs in vehicle technologies. That is why the DOE is stepping up research and development partnership efforts such as SuperTruck, a program that is helping fund nine projects with $187 million in federal grants to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks and passenger vehicles.

Read the entire story from American City & County, our sister publication.