With Electric on the Way, Truck Makers Continue to Update Diesel Models

With Electrical on the Approach, Truck Makers Proceed to Replace Diesel Fashions


Western Star final August launched its new Western Star 57X, which the corporate says is 5.8% extra gasoline environment friendly than its predecessor, the 5700XE. (Daimler Truck North America)

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Whereas truck producers make advances in battery electrical and hydrogen gasoline cell expertise, in addition they are making gasoline effectivity and aerodynamic enhancements to their diesel choices that may kind the spine of the trucking business for years to return.

These enhancements will assist producers keep compliant with environmental laws such because the U.S. Environmental Safety Company’s up to date requirements for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, that are set to take impact in 2027.

“Who is aware of how the entire electrical facet performs out, however the one certainty in that is that fleets use diesel immediately, purchase diesel vehicles immediately, they’ll be shopping for them in 2027 and past,” stated Mike Tunnell, senior director of vitality and environmental affairs at American Trucking Associations.

In the meantime, producers have been making refinements to vehicles at present on the highway.

Peterbilt’s Mannequin 579 options quite a few aerodynamic refinements together with a brand new hood, a redesigned air dam under the bumper and higher movement round floor skirts and rear wheels, based on the corporate’s web site. Peterbilt’s sister firm, Kenworth, final yr introduced that the brand new Paccar TX-18 and Paccar TX-18 Professional automated transmissions had been accessible for order for Class 8 fashions.

Deep Dive: Class 8 Market

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Volvo Vans final yr launched its I-Torque powertrain system, which provides as much as 31% higher effectivity vary between 55 and 85 miles per hour. The system contains the D13 Turbo Compound engine, the I-Shift automated transmission and I-See predictive cruise management. I-Shift selects direct drive or overdrive to maximise gasoline effectivity, and with I-See it makes use of map-based highway topography to extend gasoline effectivity. The truck is aware of when an uphill climb is approaching and downshifts to a decrease gear so it received’t change gears throughout an ascent. Because the truck nears the downhill slope, it disengages both the powertrain or engine brake to keep away from pointless acceleration or brake software.

Volvo’s sister firm, Mack Vans, has added a number of updates to its Anthem daycab mannequin main as much as this yr that improved aerodynamics by 2%, stated Stu Russoli, Mack’s freeway product supervisor. These enhancements included updating the roof fairing design and including longer cab facet shields. Mack additionally now provides factory-installed Circulation Beneath drive axle fairings and wheel covers for each its Anthem sleeper and day fashions, enhancing aerodynamics as much as 2.23%.

Freightliner Vans since its 2021 mannequin yr has been providing a brand new DD15 Gen 5 engine, which improved downspeeding together with the corporate’s DT12 transmission. The engine consists of practically 50% new elements in comparison with the earlier mannequin yr, permitting as much as 3% enchancment in gasoline effectivity.

Mack has upgraded a few of its choices. (Mack Vans) 

Western Star final August launched its new Western Star 57X, which the corporate says is 5.8% extra gasoline environment friendly than its predecessor, the 5700XE. The corporate described the brand new mannequin as its most fuel-efficient truck ever. Its Clever Powertrain Administration system adjusts to terrain and highway circumstances. Along with a extra environment friendly powertrain, the truck comes with improved aerodynamics.

Worldwide Truck in August launched its up to date Worldwide LT Sequence, which provides improved aerodynamics and the choice to specify the corporate’s new S13 Built-in Powertrain. The corporate stated the powertrain will increase working effectivity, reliability and sturdiness, and that it’s the lightest in the marketplace, providing as much as a 15% acquire in gasoline effectivity when mixed with the producer’s up to date LT Sequence aerodynamics bundle.

The engine makes use of selective catalytic discount expertise to cut back emissions and has no exhaust fuel recirculation cooler. As a substitute, it flows the entire exhaust to the turbocharger in regular circumstances. The corporate stated that eliminating exhaust fuel recirculation higher burns gasoline and lets cleaner air enter the combustion chamber. The elimination of the EGR cooler reduces the soot and particulate matter generated, whereas the design eliminates the requirement for lively diesel particulate filter regeneration.

Wanting Forward

Among the many diesel-powered vehicles turning heads not too long ago is the Peterbilt SuperTruck II demonstrator mannequin, which the corporate unveiled in October at ATA’s Administration Convention & Exhibition in San Diego.

Peterbilt Motors unveils its SuperTruck II high-efficiency idea automobile. (John Sommers II for Transport Matters)

The truck options an aerodynamic design with a middle driver’s seat place, a 48-volt “gentle hybrid” powertrain that generates electrical energy for auxiliary capabilities and a light-weight chassis that mechanically lowers the truck at freeway speeds.

A “disconnect” tandem drive axle can function as a 6×4 or 6×2 configuration. At excessive speeds, one of many axles is disengaged for higher effectivity.

Peterbilt associate Nice Dane constructed a 53-foot trailer with 15 rooftop photo voltaic panels. The mixed tractor-trailer mixture is 4,800 kilos lighter than a typical mixture.

The U.S. Division of Vitality’s SuperTruck II initiative was launched in 2016 to provide collaborating producers a possibility to display enhancements in freight effectivity that would ultimately make their approach into manufacturing fashions.

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