Volvo, Peterbilt to join SuperTruck II program

Volvo Group North America and Peterbilt announced they have joined the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck II program.

Under a SuperTruck II award announced by the DOE, Volvo Group North America is scheduled to receive $20 million in federal funding that it will use to improve the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks. The Volvo Group said it and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.

“The Volvo Group’s team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that exceeds the freight efficiency goal of 100 percent improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared with a 2009 baseline,” the company said. “The team also will demonstrate a powertrain capable of 55 percent brake thermal efficiency.”

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“The Group will leverage its industry-leading expertise in vehicle development, along with established partnerships with advanced technology and trailer equipment vendors,” Volvo added. “It will also draw from the company’s legacy of innovation in the areas of energy efficiency, safety and environmental solutions.”

Volvo Group’s partners include Michelin Americas Research Company (tires), Wabash National (trailer), Metalsa (lightweight frame), Johnson-Matthey Inc. (exhaust aftertreatment system catalysts), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (exhaust aftertreatment system testing / analysis), Peloton Technology (connected vehicle / platooning), Pennsylvania State University (connected vehicle testing), Knight Transportation (long-haul fleet) and Wegmans Food Markets (regional-haul fleet).

Peterbilt announced it will work with Cummins to develop technologies under the program. According to Peterbilt, the technologies will double freight efficiency to achieve Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) requirements set forth for model years 2021, 2024 and 2027.

“Peterbilt is proud to support the DOE’s SuperTruck II program in cooperation with Cummins,” said Darrin Siver, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “We will work together to build on the success of our original SuperTruck program.”

“Cummins and the entire team is focused on developing technologies that can transform the industry and help our customers be more successful while continuing to be great stewards of the environment. Combining some of the best technical minds available for this project, I am confident that we can reach our goals and deliver results that are a win for our customers, a win for our organizations and a win for the environment,” said Wayne Eckerle, Cummins vice president of Research and Technology.

Peterbilt said it will work to improve aerodynamics by 15% in all wind directions, which will provide customers an up to 7.5% improvement in fuel economy. According to the company, this enhancement will decrease aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.

“Peterbilt recognizes customers’ needs for reduced fuel costs,” said Scott Newhouse, Peterbilt chief engineer. “Our aerodynamic and fuel saving initiatives align with the goals of the SuperTruck II program.”

Peterbilt will work to improve fuel economy and efficiency through technologies including auxiliary systems such as air compressors, power steering pumps and cooling pumps. To reduce rolling resistance, Peterbilt will team with tire manufacturing partners to investigate alternative compounds and tire configurations for optimized surface contact.

The SuperTruck II program is a five-year program between Peterbilt and Cummins. On the original SuperTruck program, the Peterbilt and Cummins team demonstrated a 66% fuel economy improvement and 76% freight efficiency improvement over the baseline truck, according to Peterbilt.

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