Five years after the U.S. Department Of Energy’s ultimatum to create semi-trucks that were at least 50-percent more fuel efficient, Freightliner has released its concept creation dubbed SuperTruck.
After investing $115 million into development, this hybrid semi actually surpasses the mark set by the DoE by roughly 65 percent.
On a road test of 312 miles, carrying a load of 65,000 pounds, the SuperTruck was able to achieve 12.2 MPG, a 115 percent increase from an ordinary rig on the road.
Freightliner states that this hybrid truck could potentially save up to 10,000 gallons of diesel per year.
Under the hood the SuperTruck possesses an 11 liter diesel engine which is helped along by an electric motor, creating the hybrid arrangement. However, it’s not just the engine that helps this concept save so many gallons of diesel.
Along with an extremely aerodynamic body, there are solar panels placed along the top of the trucks cargo box which power the climate control inside. As well, Freightliner has created an intelligent power steering system which attempts to cut out any unnecessary movements.
While this exact vehicle won’t be seen on the roads anytime soon, Freightliner does have plans of incorporating some of the ideas into its current and near future trucks.
“By incorporating a mix of available technologies with future innovations, we were able to use the SuperTruck program to take the first steps in seeing what may be technically possible and commercially viable” stated Derek Rotz, Daimler’s Principal Investigator for the SuperTruck project.