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Volvo announces a fuel efficient concept truck

3 June 2016

Volvo Trucks has developed a new concept vehicle with improved productivity in long-haul operations. The Volvo Concept Truck reduced fuel consumption by 30%, primarily due to better aerodynamic design and lower curb weight.

The Concept Truck is a result of a five year research project with support from the Swedish Energy Agency and the US Department of Energy (DOE), in connection with the DOE SuperTruck project. The rig was test driven on Swedish roads in the Fall of 2015.

The vehicle is based on the Volvo FH 420 model powered by a Volvo D13 Euro VI diesel engine. One of the key factors behind the low fuel consumption is a 40% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency that has benefited both the tractor and trailer. Volvo modified the entire rig and optimized it for aerodynamics. For instance, the truck uses cameras instead of rear-view mirrors to reduce air resistance. Other aerodynamic improvements include chassis side-skirts that cover the rear wheels on the tractor and all the trailer wheels, as well as aerodynamic spoilers at the rear of the trailer.

Volvo Concept Truck

In addition to aerodynamic improvements, the concept vehicle is fitted with newly developed tires with lower rolling resistance. The trailer weighs two tonnes less than the reference trailer. The project also includes an optimized air flow for the engine’s cooling system and other powertrain changes.

The combined effect of the improvements was a more than 30% reduction in fuel consumption, according to Volvo. The driving cycle used for testing and the baseline truck technology for the comparison were not specified.

The concept vehicle will not be available on the market—said Volvo—but some of its aerodynamic features have already been implemented on Volvo Trucks’ series-produced vehicles, and more of its solutions may be fitted in the future.

Source: Volvo Trucks