Official: Daimler Supertruck of the future

Daimler Supertruck
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Mercedes present today the SuperTruck study at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world which take place at Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville.

Mercedes present a Super Truck Study on the Mid-America Truck Show. The study will show the strong potential for a significantly improved efficiency in road transport of the future.

In 2010, Department of Energy launched the Supertruck program to challenge companies to boost efficiency by 50% from 2009 levels. Other trucks succeed to reach these targets but the new Daimler Supertruck blows all the limits with an increased efficiency of 115% and become the most freight-efficient concept truck on the planet.

The Super Truck study presented by the Daimler American truck subsidiary Freighliner shows how the fuel consumption could be further reduced with the help of aerodynamics, energy management and use of an intelligent hybrid drive train.

The Supertruck is powered by a 10.7 litre turbodiesel engine mated with a DT 12 Automated manual transmission gearbox. It features an innovative Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) powered by Detroit that converts the engine’s otherwise wasted heat into usable energy.

Using GPS and 3D digital maps, the Integrated Powertrain Management System controls the SuperTruck’s vehicle speed, shifting and eCoast. The SuperTruck also incorporates Predictive Hybrid Control, which optimizes hybrid battery-charging strategies to the terrain of the road ahead.

The SuperTruck’s hybrid system takes kinetic energy generated from downhill braking to charge its battery. Making the system even more efficient, eCoast technology senses downgrades or when the truck is about to crest a hill, and automatically shifts the drivetrain into neutral. This reduces friction, and increases efficiency and fuel economy.

The compressor of the air conditioning is not powered by the heat engine and runs entirely with the electricity powered by the hybrid system.

To improve efficiency even more, on the top of the Supertruck trailer solar panels help to charge the hybrid battery which in turn powers the air conditioning system.

The aerodynamics plays also a crucial place in order to get a lower fuel consumption. For the first time, the tractor and the trailer were aerodinamically optimized as one complete system. Testing revealed significant drag occurring underneath and behind the trailer. Side skirts were added beneath the trailer to channel air past the rear wheels, while adjustable tail fins guide air to fill the void behind the trailer. The results were astonishing: together, the optimized tractor and trailer design achieved an incredible 54% reduction in aerodynamic drag.

The Supertruck concept conducted different tests in which demonstrate its outstanding efficiency: on highway routes in Oregon and Texas, one city route in Portland and an anti-idle test in both cold and hot chamber.

The final demonstration ran a five day 312 mile round trip route on Texas Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Dallas, at a weight of 65,000 lbs GVWR (around 29.5 tones) at a speed of 65 mph (100 km/h) where it achieved an average result of 12.2 mpg (19 l/100 km).