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SuperTruck II Innovations Reduce Fuel Use and GHG Emissions

Customers are always eager to hear about breakthrough technology that will have a direct impact on their business in the future. One project that has both immediate and, long-term, benefits is the SuperTruck II program. Cummins announced in September that it is partnering with other leading industry suppliers in the development and demonstration of new technologies under this program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Some of the best technical minds in the industry are being brought in on this project, with the intent of delivering a win for customers, for OEM organizations and for the environment. Their efforts will focus on improving engine efficiency, aerodynamics and other systems technologies to meet Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions requirements for model years 2021, 2024 and 2027.

Subject to appropriations, the DOE will fund four projects to develop and demonstrate cost-effective technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks over that of the 2009 baseline. The goal of the program is to accelerate the pace of reductions in petroleum consumption and GHG emissions of the nation’s freight transportation system.

Building on the solid foundation of SuperTruck I, Cummins will develop and demonstrate a 55 percent or greater engine Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) at a 65 mph cruise condition, and the full team will demonstrate a greater than 125 percent improvement in vehicle Freight-Ton Economy (FTE) over that of the 2009 baseline vehicle. BTE quantifies the fraction of the fuel’s chemical energy that is converted into useful work by the engine system. FTE quantifies the mass and distance of freight transported per unit of fuel consumed.

The SuperTruck I, program which Cummins participated in, led to more than 20 fuel-saving technologies that have reached the commercial market. It achieved a 76 percent increase in drive-cycle FTE and a 43 percent reduction in GHG emissions versus those of a 2009 baseline tractor-trailer combination.

The full team of project partners for SuperTruck II, each playing a vital role, currently includes Cummins, Peterbilt,® Eaton® and Bridgestone.® Other key suppliers, labs and universities making critical contributions toward the project goals include Great Dane,® Exa® Corp., Meritor,® the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL®), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory® and Purdue University. The team’s customer council, led by Walmart Transportation LLC, will provide important information on routes, technology needs and critical market input, aimed at fostering more rapid market adoption of SuperTruck technologies.

If your customers want proof that these programs yield real-world results, just have them look at how many of the efficiency improvements pioneered by SuperTruck I are in production right now in the 2017 X15™ Efficiency Series engine.

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