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Kenworth shows off SuperTruck 2 at Las Vegas expo


On Tuesday, truck maker Kenworth gave the public a peek at the eye-catching SuperTruck 2 demonstrator vehicle.

Kenworth’s SuperTruck 2 was unveiled at the ACT Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

STII, T680 & T600 at Skagit Regional Airport

The SuperTruck 2 was created in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck program, which aims to challenge truck makers to create more fuel efficient CMVs.

Kenworth says that the SuperTruck 2 has attained 136% freight efficiency improvement by increasing fuel efficiency while reducing the combination weight.

“The goal was a 100% freight efficiency improvement over our 2009 Kenworth T660, which at the time was arguably the most fuel-efficient truck in the industry. We surpassed the performance of that model to improve efficiency by up to 136%,” said Jim Walenczak, general manager of Kenworth and PACCAR vice president. “This was realized through a combination of improving fuel efficiency up to 12.8 mpg while reducing our combination weight by more than 7,000 pounds. The result was the ability to haul more payload with an ultra-fuel-efficient tractor-trailer combination. SuperTruck 2 provided us with the opportunity to investigate new technologies in an early stage. We learned what worked and what didn’t. As a result, we are able to commercialize new technologies much quicker than we would have otherwise.”

The interior of the cab of the SuperTruck 2 is also noteworthy, featuring a centered driver’s seat and a redesigned sleeper berth.

“One of the features we’re trialing is a bed that folds down over the sofa,” said Jonathan Duncan, Kenworth’s design director. “This provides a separate sleeping and sitting area. We also came up with a neat concept: having a tabletop that rotates down when you’re sitting on the sofa. You can actually eat or work then move the table to a different location without moving anything off the tabletop.”

The Kenworth team also showed off a design specific trailer that makes the unit as a whole lighter and more efficient.

“The combination came in at 26,100 pounds – 7,100 pounds less than a typical tractor-trailer configuration (4,100-pound savings on the tractor; 3,000 on the trailer),” the company says.

While SuperTruck 2 remains a concept truck for now, Kenworth says that the project could point the way toward new innovations moving forward.

“Working in the trucking industry is very exciting. There are major challenges ahead as we continue to advance vehicle performance, all while keeping in mind the goal to be a carbon neutral society by 2050. This will require tremendous technology changes in the trucking industry and partnering with the DOE on the SuperTruck 2 program was a tremendous opportunity to consider what will be possible as we look toward the future,” said  said Joe Adams, Kenworth’s chief engineer.

Check out the video below for a closer look at Kenworth’s SuperTruck 2.


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