Cummins-Peterbilt: Supertruck appears off-the-shelf road ready today. [fimg=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/Obama_with_Peterbilt_-_Cummins_DOE_Supertruck2.jpg[/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Feb. 22, 2014 Cummins-Peterbilt Supertruck – Price and availability, unknown. While Wal-Mart grabbed all the attention with their recently announced futuristic carbon fiber, serial turbo diesel hybrid Wal-Mart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) concept wonder truck and carbon fiber trailer for tomorrow, two big rig icons, a chassis/coach builder and an Over-the-road (OTR) engine builder were busy building and testing a truck built for today. Along with a little plug from the President. Obama Announced New Era in Big Rig Fuel Efficiency Standards Peterbilt and Cummins announced that the latest version of their SuperTruck demonstration tractor-trailer achieved 10.7 mpg last month under very practical real-world driving conditions. 10-years ago when trucks were barely able to best 6 mpg, developing a truck that could exceed 10 mpg when fully loaded and moving fast was considered more a fairy tale than reality. With the latest advances powertrains, aerodynamics and optimized ancillaries, the SuperTruck has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that 10 mpg is not only attainable, it is readily doable. DOE Partnership The Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck was on display during President Barack Obama's announcement of firm deadlines for the next generation of national fuel-efficiency and GHG emissions standards for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The SuperTruck program was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to vastly improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency. The program focused on advanced hyper efficient engine systems and vehicle technologies that meet near term and future emissions standard along with Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. By the Numbers Peterbilt stated that the SuperTruck demonstrator averaged 75 percent better fuel economy, 43 percent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and an 86 percent increase in freight efficiency over a 24-hour, head-to-head test against a 2009 baseline truck. We are talking 5-years here, not a decade or two! The SuperTruck project objectives included development and demonstration of a highly efficient and clean diesel engine, an advanced waste heat recovery system, an aerodynamic tractor and trailer combination and a Li-Ion battery-auxiliary power unit to keep the cab warm or cool depending on exterior temperature with a minimal amount of idling. The Supertruck The Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck uses the Peterbilt Model 579 and its best-in-class aerodynamic efficiency. Designed for the best aerodynamic performance, Peterbilt's Aero Packages provide the right combination of fairings, skirts and closeouts to exceed application-specific aerodynamic requirements. The engine is based on Cummins ISX15 -- something added that converts exhaust heat into power delivered to the crankshaft -- and electronic control software that uses route information to optimize fuel use. Possibly a DWL topography assist system? The SuperTruck also includes chassis refinements, improvements in the aerodynamics and other significant advances in the engine. Lightweighting throughout the tractor-trailer also enables increased freight efficiency. Eaton, also part of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck project team, is developing the next-generation automated transmission that improves fuel efficiency in heavy-duty trucks. Eaton's contribution includes the design, development and prototyping of an advanced transmission that facilitates reduced engine-operating speeds. Cummins and Eaton jointly designed shift schedules and other features to yield further improved fuel efficiency. This demonstration of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck has exceeded DOE goals for freight efficiency. The SuperTruck achieved an 86 percent improvement in freight efficiency and a 75 percent fuel economy improvement over a 24-hour test cycle in December 2013. The program goal was a 68 percent freight-efficiency increase over a 2009 vintage baseline vehicle of the same weight traveling along the same route. The Class 8 Peterbilt Model 579, powered by a Cummins ISX15 engine, achieved 10.7 mpg during testing last month between Denton, Texas, and Vernon, Texas. The 312-mile route was the same one used two years ago, when the first version of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck averaged just less than 10 mpg. Cummins and Peterbilt Build 10 mpg Big Rig “SuperTruck” The testing in both instances was conducted on a round-trip basis, to negate any wind advantage that might have been gained by traveling one way, and each tractor-trailer had a combined gross weight of 65,000 lb running at 64 mph. A longer, 500-mile route between Denton and Memphis, Texas, was also used to demonstrate the vehicle's fuel-efficiency improvement over a 24-hour test cycle. Cummins-Peterbilt did not publish the results of that lengthier drive however. The increase in fuel economy for the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck would save about $27,000 annually per truck based on today's diesel fuel prices for a long-haul truck traveling 120,000 miles per year. It would also translate into a more than 43 percent reduction in annual GHG emissions per truck. The potential savings in fuel and GHGs are enormous, given that there are about 2 million registered tractor-trailers on U.S. roads today, according to the American Trucking Associations. Cummins is a prime contractor leading one of four teams under the DOE's SuperTruck project, one of several initiatives that are part of the 21st Century Truck Partnership. Cummins, Peterbilt and their program partners will have invested $38.8 million in private funds over the four-year life of the SuperTruck program when it draws to a close later this year. The project received critical support in matching grants from the DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program. And we say think you to the Federal program and participants for making the 10 mpg big rig a reality. Not let’s get this baby’s technology on the road for everyone else.