Peterbilt, Cummins SuperTruck Averages 10 MPG

Peterbilt SuperTruck Averages 10 MPG
Image Credit: Cummins, Peterbilt
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Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors Co. announced today that the latest version of the SuperTruck reached 10.7 mpg last month under  real-world driving conditions.

Cummis and Peterbilt said in a statement that developing a truck that could achieve 10 mpg was considered a dream or nearly impossible, as most trucks average between 5.5 and 6.5 mpg, but engineers rose to the challenge and developed a more advanced engine and a more aerodynamic truck which made 10 mpg attainable.

The test run was performed last month. The truck was driven between Denton, Texas and Vernon, Texas– a 312-mile route.

The truck combined gross weight was 65,000 pounds and the truck ran at 64 mph.  A longer, 500-mile route between Denton and Memphis, Texas was then used to further test the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Based on today’s fuel prices, the increased fuel efficiency could save an average of $27,000 annually per truck.

Peterbilt SuperTruck Averages 10 MPG
Image Credit: Cummins, Peterbilt

“SuperTruck averaged a 75 percent increase in fuel economy, a 43percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an 86 percentgain in freight efficiency in 24-hour, head-to-head testing against a 2009 baseline truck — all significant improvements,” a Cummins press release states.

The SuperTruck program was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  The goal of the program was to improve freight efficiency while working to cut emissions and greenhouse gases.

Cummins and Peterbilt partnered for the SuperTruck project.  The objective was to build a truck that was an efficient yet clean diesel engine.  The truck boasts an aerodynamic tractor and trailer combination and a lithium ion battery APU.

The SuperTruck uses the Peterbilt 579 body. “The engine, based on Cummins industry-leading ISX15, converts exhaust heat into power delivered to the crankshaft, and has electronic control software that uses route information to optimize fuel use,” Cummins states.

Eaton Corp. also partnered with Cummins and Peterbilt on the SuperTruck project by developing a next-generation automated transmission that is designed to improve fuel efficiency.

This demonstration of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck has exceededDOE goals for freight efficiency.  According to Cummins, freight efficiency was based on pay load weight and fuel efficiency expressed in ton-miles per gallon.

In total, the SuperTruck achieved an 86% improvement in freight efficiency and a 75% improvement in fuel economy during a 24-hour test run in December 2013, smashing the goal of 68% for freight efficiency.

The SuperTruck was on display today for President Barack Obama’s announcement of 2015 stricter fuel efficiency deadlines.

“We are honored that the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck has been chosen to be on display for President Obama’s announcement,” said Wayne Eckerle, Cummins Vice President – Research and Technology. “TheSuperTruck clearly demonstrates the technologies that can deliver significant fuel-efficiency improvements over the next decade and beyond as we continue to develop for cost and performance attributes that will make them strong commercial successes.”

Landon Sproull, Peterbilt Chief Engineer, agreed.

“The work we’re doing on SuperTruck is very much in keeping withPeterbilt’s global reputation for industry-leading design, innovative engineering and fuel-efficient solutions,” he said. “I think it’sbeen a terrific opportunity for us to look into the future and demonstrate what’s possible.”