This article is several months old; but, just as relevant. Lots of creativity active in the space; but, no one with a critter like this, tested and traveling the country as a rolling testament to improved fuel economy for big rig freight haulers.
Cummins and Peterbilt say tweaks to the big rig are a significant step forward all by themselves, considering a fully loaded, 64,000-pound class 8 truck like this would have been seen as OK if it netted 5.5-6.5 mpg just a few years ago.
Improvements for the SuperTruck include an average 75-percent increase in fuel economy, 43-percent cut to greenhouse gas emissions, and 86-percent increase in freight efficiency. These numbers were said to be “real world” indicators based on 24-hour, head-to-head testing running at 64 mph against a 2009 baseline truck.
Behind the SuperTruck program is the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) already working ahead of Obama’s latest mandates, and for which the truck was on display as a symbol of progress…
Gains were attributed to the Peterbilt Model 579 with “best-in-class” aerodynamic efficiency. The Cummins ISX15 engine converts exhaust heat to additional crankshaft-turning power, and the system is controlled electronically to maximize fuel usage. Of course a host of diesel exhaust after treatment is also employed.
Weight was also pared off of the big truck. Its 312-mile test route was the same course that saw just under 10 mpg for the first version of the Peterbilt SuperTruck two years ago.
At today’s diesel prices, Cummins and Peterbilt estimate an annual fuel savings of $27,000 over a 120,000 mile year.
Full disclosure, I own enough Cummins shares to pay for 2 new tyres for my pickup truck in dividends.
There’s an article over here from truckinginfo.com which delves into the details of many of the tweaks.