Daimler Supertruck gets incredible gas mileage
by, 04-01-2015 at 12:32 AM (7951 Views)
If you were to list all of the important criteria that a semi-truck should have, chances are fuel economy probably wouldn’t be at the top of your list. After all, semi-trucks have to travel thousands of miles back and forth across the country all while pulling tons of weight. Reliability is a must, drivers can’t have their trucks constantly breaking down. Power is also essential as they have to haul so much weight, sometimes uphill while keeping up with surrounding traffic. Because of their job description, semi-trucks have always got horrendous gas mileage. That’s why the Department of Energy challenged companies to engineer trucks that would boost fuel economy by 50% compared to 2009 levels. The initiative, called Supertruck, began in 2010 and since then, we’ve seen semis that get pretty impressive mileage. In fact, several companies surpassed the goal set by the Department of Energy. But all fall short to the Supertruck that North American company, Daimler, recently unveiled.
Daimler’s Supertruck averages about 12.2 miles per gallon. And while that doesn’t sound like much, it’s good enough to be the most fuel efficient semi-truck in existence. Daimler’s Supertruck actually improve’s the company’s gas mileage by 115%. The 12.2 miles per gallon average was obtained after many tests, including a 312 mile haul from San Antonio to Dallas and back averaging 65 miles per hour.
Though the semi looks similar to other semi-trucks, there are some key differences. Daimler’s Supertruck is designed to be more aerodynamic. The semi’s hood and cab are arched more dynamically in order to allow air to pass over it more easily thus reducing drag. All of the semi’s wheels save two are faired also to reduce drag. The Supertruck has a 10.7 liter engine capable of 390 horsepower and 1,400 pound-feet of torque. The truck’s controls make use of a 3D map feature that helps to maximize fuel efficiency. Daimler also experimented with solar panels on the top of the truck and active aero parts to further boost fuel efficiency though it has so far proved to be impractical. Daimler is planning to show off their Supertruck at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show.
Much of the tech used to make Daimler’s Supertruck so fuel-efficient could possibly be applied to other vehicles in the future to make them more fuel efficient.