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Shell Lubricant’s Starship 2.0 truck to take off onto highways this May


Starting this May, you may see Shell Lubricant’s newest hyper-fuel efficient tractor-trailer, Starship 2.0, cruising down the highway.

Shell has continued to make technology updates and improvements to the truck since its first phases in the spring of 2018 and is set to launch the newest version of the tractor-trailer on a coast-to-coast journey next month.

“The Starship is an innovative, material step towards reducing emissions and increasing overall efficiency and fuel economy in the transport sector. This next-generation truck features a custom, aerodynamic design and aims to demonstrate improvements in fuel economy for class 8 trucks while lowering CO2 emissions,” said Shell Lubricants.

Shell Starship 2.0 conducted regional testing earlier this year and will prepare for its cross-country drive, which will begin in San Diego, California, and end in Jacksonville, Florida, using the same route as the first Starship. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) will monitor and verify the results of the Starship 2.0’s journey.

“Shell Starship 2.0 will feature technologies that have advanced since its inception and is built to stimulate discussion and drive the conversation around trucking efficiency and carbon reduction,” said Jeff Priborsky, global marketing manager of the on-highway fleet sector for Shell Lubricants. “We have taken a number of technologies and have drawn them together in a single design with a holistic, connected approach that is crafted to optimize performance and efficiency.”

The Starship Initiative aims to improve technology, energy efficiency, and sustainability for class 8 trucks and trailers and includes the following:

  • Aerodynamics:
    • Bespoke 100% hyper-aerodynamic carbon fiber Cab
    • Active Grill Shutters (active based on temperature to maximize aerodynamics and maximize efficiency)
    • Aerodynamic boat tail for streamlined airflow around truck and drag reduction
  • Efficiency:
    • Hybrid electric axle system for a power boost while climbing grades
    • Custom automatic tire inflation system for consistent tire pressure and optimal fuel economy
    • Downspeed axle configuration provides improved efficiency and pulling power
    • 5000 Watt solar array charges and stores power for normal electrical components
  • Shell Technologies for Starship:
    • Utilizes full synthetic Shell Heavy Duty Engine Oil
    • Spirax S6 GXME 75W-80 transmission oil, Spirax S5 ADE 75W-85 differential oil, and Spirax S6 GME 40 wheel hub oil for performance and protection

Shell Starship 2.0 is expected to carry 40,000 pounds, compared to the 30,000 pounds the truck carried in 2018. The first Shell Starship achieved 8.94 miles per gallon in 2018, and it is looking to improve this number during the Starship 2.0 cross-country journey.

Shell will use freight ton efficiency as their primary measure of energy expenditure, which combines the weight of cargo being moved with the amount of fuel consumed. By tracking this, Shell will be able to evaluate performance and create more initiatives aimed at reducing the transportation industry’s carbon emissions.

Shell is also looking to gain new insights by testing the truck through a variety of environments.

“The ability to test Shell Starship 2.0 under different road and operating conditions is a great benefit as we prepare for the cross-country journey,” said Robert Mainwaring, technology manager for innovation at Shell Lubricants. “With many updates to the truck, it has given us the opportunity to make sure the new drivetrain and the efficient technologies built into the truck are all operating in concert with each other.”

To learn more about The Starship Initiative, watch the video below.


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