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Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck achieves 10.7 mpg

10 March 2014

Cummins recently announced that the concept “SuperTruck” tractor trailer developed by Cummins and Peterbilt achieved 10.7 miles per gallon (mpg) under real world driving conditions. Developing a truck that could exceed 10 mpg when fully loaded was considered unlikely just a few years ago, noted Cummins, with most commercial trucks averaging between 5.5 and 6.5 mpg.

The Cummins-Peterbilt tractor trailer was on display for President Obama’s announcement on the next phase of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck is part of a program initiated by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency. Cummins is leading one of four teams under the DOE’s SuperTruck project. The other SuperTruck teams include Daimler, Volvo and Navistar.

The Cummins-Peterbilt concept truck uses the Peterbilt® Model 579 with aerodynamic innovations. The engine—based on Cummins’ ISX15—utilizes an exhaust gas heat recovery system and has electronic control software that uses route information to optimize fuel use. Eaton is developing a next-generation automated transmission that facilitates reduced engine operating speeds. The latest version of the SuperTruck is also lighter, enabling the concept tractor trailer to carry more freight.

In December 2013, the SuperTruck achieved an 86% improvement in freight efficiency and a 75% fuel economy improvement over a 24-hour test cycle. The test was carried out on a 500 mile route between Denton and Memphis, Texas. The result exceeded the SuperTruck program goal, which was a 68% freight efficiency increase over a 2009 baseline vehicle of the same weight traveling along the same route. Freight efficiency is a metric based on payload weight and fuel efficiency, expressed in ton-miles per gallon.

In January, the SuperTruck achieved 10.7 mpg over a stretch of US Route 287 between Denton and Vernon, Texas—the same route used two years ago when the first version of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck averaged 9.9 mpg. The testing in both instances was conducted on a round-trip basis to negate any wind advantage that might have been gained by traveling one way and each tractor trailer had a combined gross weight of 65,000 lbs (29,480 kg) running at 64 mph (103 km/h).

Cummins, Peterbilt and their program partners will have invested $38.8 million in private funds over the four-year life of their SuperTruck program when it draws to a close later this year. The project received support in matching grants from the US DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

Source: Cummins