The federal government has launched a program to promote college courses in the design of highly efficient automobiles. The Department of Energy (DOE) is putting up $500,000 this year for the program and proposes $2 million for 1999. Funding is to be matched by participating universities. The program's first goal is to set up a graduate curriculum and fellowship program that will concentrate on the latest automotive technologies. The next phase calls for developing full four-year courses of study at several universities. A DOE official claims the program will "train a new generation of automotive engineering professionals who will be building the super-efficient car of the future."
The implementation of a new diesel fuel standard in the US has considerably improved the environmental performance of diesel vehicles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the new ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel has combined with other improved technologies to reduce diesel's particulate matter (PM) emissions by 99%.
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