Daimler Trucks North America’s (DTNA) CEO Martin Daum presented the new heavy-duty truck Freightliner Cascadia Evolution In Washington D.C. in the presence of U.S. government representatives and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

The Freightliner Cascadia Evolution will become available on the U.S. market 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 34 tons or 76,000 pounds 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: first, the new Detroit DD15 engine; second, new aerodynamic measures.

The DD15 engine of the Detroit brand, which is part of Daimler, is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 14.6 liters of displacement. 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).

Earlier 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 which will go into effect in 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.

From left to right: David Hames, DTNA General Manager of Marketing and Strategy; Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation; Martin Daum, DTNA President and CEO; Mark Lampert, DTNA Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Dr. Wilfried Achenbach, DTNA Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology; Richard Shearing, Freightliner Trucks Director of Product Strategy.

During a test drive with a technology carrier at Daimler’s 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 wide-base tires, and a trailer specifically designed by DTNA with aerodynamic aspects in mind. 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. The resulting fuel consumption was 10.67 miles per gallon, or approximately 22 liters per 100 km.

Shaping Future Transportation: 2,700-mile test run with compressed natural gas truck
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 San Diego to Washington D.C. (approximately 2,700 miles), interrupted only by refueling stops every 350 to 500 miles.

The CNG truck only used public gas stations to refuel, thus demonstrating that alternative drive technologies represent a real alternative even today. In light of this success, Daum promised that DTNA will keep pushing forward in the field of alternative drive systems and continue to cooperate closely with government agencies and form strategic alliances with other economic sectors. “We want to live up to our leadership position by promoting environmentally friendly, resource-conserving, and sustainable transportation solutions,” he said.