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When 12 MPG Is An Achievement

Nov 26, 2015 at 11:34 AM CST



The good folks over at Energy.gov shared some SuperTruck goodness that’s just too good to pass up. Not sure what a SuperTruck is? Well, that’s a great place to start. The Energy Department kicked off an initiative called SuperTruck with the specific goal of increasing freight efficiency by 50% compared to a baseline vehicle. Now, that wording is tricky, so let’s break it down a bit further.

Freight efficiency is effectively the amount of energy required to move a given amount of freight. Increasing freight efficiency is accomplished by:

  • Increasing freight density — or the amount of freight that can be packed into a standard unit of space
  • Increasing truck space utilization — or filling trucks up to a higher fill % instead of shipping partially full trucks.
  • Reducing the drag coefficient and overall wind resistance of the vehicles.
  • Increasing the miles per gallon efficiency of the drivetrains that move the freight.
  • Optimizing air pressure in tires for the load to minimize non-value-add loss due to friction.