Home Truck News NACFE report highlights achievements of SuperTruck programs - Truck News

NACFE report highlights achievements of SuperTruck programs – Truck News

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has released a report highlighting achievements from the U.S. Department of Energy-funded SuperTruck programs.

SuperTruck 2: Empowering Future Trucking, focuses on lessons learned from the SuperTruck 2 program. Five teams participated in the program: Cummins and Peterbilt; Daimler Truck North America; Volvo Trucks; Navistar; and Paccar.

SuperTruck2 collage
(Image: NACFE)

“SuperTruck 2 had the five teams looking at the entire tractor-trailer as a single unit which yielded significantly improved performance benefits vs. a more piecemeal approach,” said Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director, speaking at a press conference at the spring meeting of the Technology & Maintenance Council.

“We concluded that the SuperTruck 2 teams achieved great improvements and delivered efficiency technologies to make zero-emission solutions more successful,” added Rick Mihelic, NACFE’s director of emerging technologies.

The report concluded that many tractor-trailer efficiency gains are universally applicable across all powertrains. Mihelic, who authored the report, pointed out zero emissions vehicles shouldn’t steal all the headlines from SuperTruck programs and their ability to improve fuel economy on internal combustion fueled trucks.

“One of the greatest aspects of this program is these are not blue sky projects with research money going into them just for the sake of research,” said Mihelic. “One of the contributing factors of this program is the technology has to have a path to production; some legitimacy that will go into a vehicle at some point in time.”

It also provides engineers with an opportunity to take a complete systems approach to design, including the trailer.

“OEMs build tractors, not trailers,” Mihelic said. “This is a unique opportunity for OEMs to explore some improvements they wouldn’t normally be able to do because they’re looking at too small of the piece of the puzzle.”

He reminded that there are 10 million medium- and heavy-duty trucks on North American roads, replaced at a pace of about 300,000 a year for each segment. This means that there will still be a need to improve the efficiency of existing models as we await the wider adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The report can be downloaded at www.nacfe.org.


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