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Cummins and Peterbilt to team up on SuperTruck II

Cummins will partner with Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR to develop and demonstrate technologies under the US Department of Energy (DOE) SuperTruck II program. (Earlier post.)

For SuperTruck II, the Cummins–Peterbilt team will focus on breakthrough advances in Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency technologies that are cost-effective enough to be used in everyday real-world applications. Building on the solid foundation of SuperTruck I, Cummins will develop and demonstrate 55% or greater engine Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) at a 65 mph cruise condition and the full team will demonstrate a greater than 100% improvement in vehicle Freight-Ton Economy (FTE) over 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.

Cummins and Peterbilt teamed together for SuperTruck I, first demonstrating more than 50% BTE and analytically defining technologies needed to achieve 55% BTE. Their demonstration tractor-trailer averaged a 76% increase in drive cycle FTE and a 43% reduction in GHG emissions versus a 2009 baseline truck.

As evidence of the favorable market impact that DOE partnered research and development continues to have, many of the engine and drivetrain efficiency improvements and vehicle power demand reductions pioneered in SuperTruck I are headed for production with the latest model year 2017 product offerings by Cummins, Peterbilt and its key product delivery partners.

The full team of project partners includes Peterbilt, Eaton and Bridgestone. Other key suppliers, labs and universities making critical contributions toward the project goals include Great Dane, Exa Corporation, Meritor, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 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.

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 the 2009 baseline. The goal of the program is to accelerate the pace of reductions in petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the nation’s freight transportation system.



Amazing what can be done with a few Government dollars.

Special higher registration fees (based on total efficiency) plus a small subsidy for the purchase of new units would help to accelerate the transition?


Take away subsidies for inefficiency then provide incentives for efficiency, seems obvious.


Notice the word diesel fuel is never mentioned. BTE is a measure of carbon efficiency, so I'm guessing they may be utilizing ethanol fuel? With the proposed efficiency gains they must be utilizing different fuel. Cummins has experience with ethanol and impressive results. They could magnify the efficiency gains with low carbon fuel and logistics of better manage transport. That's what I would do.


BTE is a direct measure of thermal efficiency, crankshaft work out over fuel heat of combustion in.

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