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Class 8 “SuperTruck” Achieves 10.7 Mpg In Latest Test

Posted on February 18, 2014

Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors Co., a division of Paccar, announced that the latest version of their SuperTruck demonstration tractor-trailer achieved 10.7 mpg last month under real-world driving conditions.

The goal of the SuperTruck program, initiated by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE), is to improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency. The program focuses on advanced and highly efficient engine systems and vehicle technologies that meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. In addition to the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and petroleum usage, the improvements in engine system efficiency will deliver a significant reduction in GHG emissions.

Cummins has partnered with Peterbilt for the SuperTruck project. The project objectives have included development and demonstration of an efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic tractor and trailer combination and a lithium ion battery-auxiliary power unit, to reduce engine idling.

The Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck is based on an Peterbilt Model 579 aerodynamic truck powered by a Cummins ISX15 diesel engine. Exhaust heat is converted to additional power delivered to the crankshaft and the vehicle also includes chassis refinements, improvements in the aerodynamics and a next-generation automated transmission from Eaton that is designed to facilitate reduced engine-operating speeds. Cummins and Eaton jointly designed shift schedules and other features to yield further improved fuel efficiency.

This demonstration of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck has exceeded DOE goals for freight efficiency -- a key trucking metric based on payload weight and fuel efficiency expressed in ton-miles per gallon. The SuperTruck achieved an 86% improvement in freight efficiency and a 75% fuel economy improvement over a 24-hour test cycle in December 2013, Cummins said. The program goal was a 68% freight-efficiency increase over a 2009 vintage baseline vehicle of the same weight traveling along the same route.

Cummins is a prime contractor leading one of four teams under the DOE's SuperTruck project, one of several initiatives that are part of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. The partnership is a public-private initiative to further stimulate innovation in the trucking industry through sponsoring by government agencies, companies, national laboratories and universities. Cummins, Peterbilt and their program partners will have invested $38.8 million in private funds over the four-year life of the SuperTruck program when it draws to a close later this year. The project received critical support in matching grants from the DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program.

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