PACCAR Inc. is joining four other SuperTruck II teams to develop innovative technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the SuperTruck II program is a follow-on to the successful $240-million SuperTruck I initiative (earlier post), the goal of which was to develop tractor-trailers that were 50% more efficient on a ton‐mile‐per-gallon basis than baseline models by 2015. (Earlier post.)
SuperTruck II includes more aggressive overall freight efficiency and engine brake thermal efficiency goals—specifically, a greater than 100% freight efficiency goal and greater than or equal to 55% engine brake thermal efficiency goal.
In addition, SuperTruck II also requires demonstration of the same or improved vehicle performance (acceleration, gradeability) relative to a 2009 baseline and includes cost requirements to provide a shorter payback period for the fleet customer, which is needed to foster a more rapid market adoption of new energy efficient technologies.
PACCAR has been selected to receive up to $8 million in fiscal year (FY) 2017 funds. With this award, the five SuperTruck II projects will have received a total of $40 million in FY 2016 and FY 2017 funds. The awards are cost-shared by the recipients.
Class 8 trucks haul 80% of goods in the United States and use about 28 billion gallons of fuel per year, accounting for around 22% of total transportation energy usage. As such, they offer a significant opportunity to increase efficiency and reduce cost for a key segment of the transportation sector in the US. Lowering the trucks’ fuel costs reduces the amount companies need to spend on transportation and can allow retailers to pass that savings to consumers.