A specially modified and fully loaded Cascadia reaches 10.67 mpgUS!
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- June 10, 2012
The new heavy-duty truck Freightliner Cascadia Evolution (available next year) provides a 7.5% improvement in fuel economy when compared to the current model.
Last week, Daimler’s U.S. commercial vehicle subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) demonstrated its strength in the field of environmentally friendly technologies with eye popping results.
The new heavy-duty truck Freightliner Cascadia Evolution will become available on the U.S. market starting next year. When compared to the current model (EPA 10 Cascadia), the new truck consumes up to 7 percent less fuel.
These fuel savings were confirmed by an independent agency (Automotive Testing and Development Services) in the course of a one-week drive across the U.S. under real-life conditions. The 2,400-mile route led from San Diego, California, to Gastonia, North Carolina. During the test, the two heavy-duty semitrailer trucks – weighing approximately 76,000 lbs. each – traveled at an average speed of 62 mph.
According to Martin Daum, two key factors led to the positive result of this Evolution of Efficiency Tour:
“The tremendous fuel savings of the new Freightliner Cascadia are primarily due to the new Detroit DD15 engine as well as the aerodynamic measures. The fuel efficiency drive was a unique opportunity for us to conduct a test under real-life conditions of our latest technologies and the tremendous fuel saving potential they offer to our customers.”
The DD15 engine is a 14.6L turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. As with all Detroit engines, it is equipped with Daimler BlueTec technology, which reduces emissions to near-zero levels and even falls below the EPA 10 emissions standard for the NAFTA region (comparable to Euro VI).
Freightliner Trucks Ready for 2014 Regs
At the beginning of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified the Daimler commercial vehicles subsidiary’s complete portfolio of long-distance trucks, medium-duty trucks, and vocational vehicles of the Freightliner and Western Star brands as fully compliant with the Greenhouse Gas 2014 (GHG14) regulations.
This means that DTNA is leading in the U.S. commercial vehicles industry. The company already meets the standards set by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which will not go into effect until the beginning of 2014. These regulations aim to permanently reduce the green-house gas emissions of heavy- and medium-duty trucks. The EPA believes that through the new GHG14 regulations, trucks and buses of the model years 2014 through 2018 are projected to reduce oil consumption by 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons.
The Real Deal
A Specially fitted Freightliner Cascadia with a full load achieves an unheard of 10.67 mpgUS
During a test drive with a technology prototype at the proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas, DTNA demonstrated that the fuel consumption of a heavy-duty semitrailer truck can be reduced even further through ideal airflow and additional technical fine-tuning.
For the test drive, the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution was equipped with a Detroit DT12 automated transmission, low rolling-resistance singlewide tires, and an aerodynamic trailer. This technically and aerodynamically optimized combination of a tractor and a trailer (total weight: approximately 34 tons) traveled exactly 1,000 miles at an average speed of 60 mph resulting in a 10.67 mpg. There is a lot of muscle cars that still brag about power while achieving similar results in the real world. How embarrassing for those automobile manufacturers when a fully loaded semi pulls 20 times their weight and 4 to 6 times their frontal area!
DTNA presented another test result in the area of alternative drive systems. For the first time, a natural gas-fueled Freightliner Cascadia completed a tour from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. (approximately 2,700 miles), interrupted only by refueling stops every 350 to 500 miles. The CNG truck (CNG = compressed natural gas) only used public gas stations to refuel, thus impressively demonstrating that alternative drive technologies represent a real alternative even today.
Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses is the leading commercial vehicle manufacturer consolidates these activities in its worldwide “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative, which aims to turn the zero-emission commercial vehicle of tomorrow into reality through efficient and clean drive systems and alternative fuels. The initiative involves the sparing use of resources and the reduction of emissions of every kind, while guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.
Now if only they would make their automobile offerings as noteworthy…