Tuesday, August 16, 2011

US Class 8 Truck Development Funding Aims to Reduce Freight Costs and Pollution

New Legislation Swings Into Action
Shipping News Feature

US – Following last weeks story regarding the 2014-2018 fuel efficiency standards for trucks which President Obama introduced, comes the news that funding has been put in place to advance the cause of efficient road freight movement with both Volvo and their subsidiary Mack announcing they have received total grants of $19 million to fund the production of a new standard of class 8 trucks they have modestly dubbed ‘the Super Truck’.

The companies’ engineers at the Greensboro, North Carolina and Hagerstown, Maryland plants are to investigate and develop new technologies over the next five years to improve aerodynamics and increase performance. This work compliments tests and products already undertaken in other areas of truck design and both Volvo and Mack put great store in the integration which their production strategy allows. Kevin Flaherty, Mack senior vice president, U.S. and Canada commented:

“Integrated proprietary components provide superior performance because they’re specifically designed to work together. Our EPA 2010 solution is a good example. The intelligent integration of the Mack MP series engines and Mack ClearTech SCR system delivers maximum fuel efficiency and near-zero regulated emissions. We look forward to bringing this kind of expertise to the SuperTruck table.”

Peter Karlsten, Volvo Powertrain president, and senior vice president of technology for the Volvo Group added:

“We appreciate the Department of Energy’s recognition of Volvo as a global technology leader. Our partnership will help drive the development of technologies needed to maximize energy efficiency as we address the reality of a finite supply of petroleum-based resources. Volvo Trucks and Powertrain have committed the internal resources necessary to become fuel efficiency leaders in the Class 8 market and now we’re able to explore some planned fuel efficiency improving technologies earlier in our product development cycle than normally scheduled – and also investigate advanced technologies that normally would not be economically feasible.”

The Volvo group, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, employs about 100,000 people with production facilities in 19 countries and distributes to over 180 countries worldwide with sales for 2008 standing at over $46 billion. Since then an aggressive energy conservation effort at the at the company’s New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia has reduced electricity consumption there by 28%, natural gas consumption by 35% and water use by almost 70%.

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. The transport and fuel efficiency improvements under SuperTruck will be developed in cooperation with university and supplier partners.