The U.S Department of Energy funded research towards improving freight efficiency and reducing truck’s fuel consumption. Two companies, the first being the Navistar Supertruck changed the entire shape of the truck into a more airfoil shape which made it more aerodynamic and added a full length trailer skirt. The second, Cummins-Peterbuilt improved on this by adding retractable skirts which lowered the risk of body damage, an issue with the Supertruck. Lastly, the teardrop shape has been shown to reduce fuel economy by 12 percent overseas.
- The September 2016 unveiling of Navistar’s SuperTruck brought to a close the first round of the U.S. Department of Energy funded research and development project aimed at improving freight efficiency and reducing heavy-truck fuel consumption.
- The closer each could get to the ideal aerodynamic shape, i.e., something similar to a rain drop, the greater the gains would be.
- Many of the technologies developed for the project have already found their way into current OEM offerings, and others are a model-year or two away.
“The U.S. DOE set specific energy saving targets for SuperTruck I, and they were all shattered by the four SuperTruck teams.”