Under a SuperTruck contract established with the US Department of Energy, Volvo Technology of America is scheduled to receive $19m in federal funding to be used by the Volvo Group’s North American truck operations to improve the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and reduce greenhouse gases.
A team of researchers and engineers in Greensboro, NC and Hagerstown, MD will spend the next five years developing high-efficiency heavy-duty truck technologies aimed at moving more freight with less fuel, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Improved truck aerodynamics and energy conversion efficiency – maximizing the output potential of the energy source – are two areas that hold great promise for Class 8 efficiency gains.
In achieving the SuperTruck goals, Volvo will draw on extensive experience in energy efficiency and reducing heavy-duty truck and engine diesel use. Volvo’s North American truck and powertrain operations have been participating in other DOE- funded heavy vehicle fuel efficiency efforts as well. Being an integrated manufacturer also improves the efficacy of product development and allows Volvo to optimize solutions across product platforms.
Volvo VN and VHD trucks are assembled at the New River Valley Plant in Dublin, VA. Since 2008, an aggressive energy conservation effort at the plant has reduced electricity consumption by 28 per cent, natural gas consumption by 35 per cent and water use by almost 70 per cent. The EPA 2010 solution developed by Volvo Trucks and Volvo’s powertrain operations uses Selective Catalytic Reduction technology and a Diesel Particulate Filter to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, or soot, to near-zero levels. The approach also significantly improves fuel efficiency, with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.