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Volvo Trucks unveils their SuperTruck 2

10 October 2023

Volvo Trucks North America has unveiled the company’s SuperTruck 2, with the debut on the company’s YouTube channel. The SuperTruck 2 program, a public-private partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE) tasked OEMs with achieving a 100% freight efficiency improvement over their submitted 2009 baseline, which Volvo exceeded achieving 134% increase in freight efficiency [ton-mile/gallon] under real world demonstrator validation.

Volvo Trucks’ SuperTruck 2 will make its first public appearance at the American Trucking Associations’ 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition, taking place October 14-17 in Austin, Texas.

“Partnering with the DOE for the SuperTruck program provides an exciting opportunity to push the technology envelope to see what’s technically possible for heavy-duty transportation and which solutions can be scaled into production, but equally important, which solutions don’t work for scaled production,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president, Volvo Trucks North America.

Volvo Trucks’ SuperTruck 2

For Volvo Trucks’ SuperTruck 2 program, advanced aerodynamics are the key to optimizing fuel efficiency. The entire tractor trailer combination achieved a 50% lower drag than Volvo Trucks’ 2009 baseline. This represents a roughly 20% improvement in aerodynamic drag over Volvo Trucks’ SuperTruck 1. The SuperTruck 2 aerodynamic features include a wedge shaped cab, a front end designed around a downsized cooling package, a fully aerodynamic trailer with gap fairings, skirts and boat tail, as well as an adjustable ride height. Volvo Trucks also replaced the traditional hood and cab mounted mirrors with a camera monitoring system to reduce the drag by 4%.

In addition to the aerodynamics advancements, several weight reduction strategies were implemented to achieve a significantly reduced curb weight of 27,000 lbs for the combined truck and the trailer. Volvo Trucks chose to utilize a 4×2 configuration, which is not common in the USA but is frequently utilized in Europe using fewer axles for the same payload. The truck was designed so it could be applied to a 6×2 or 6×4 configuration, but that was not part of the specific demonstrator validation for this program. The shorter cab design is lightweight and paired with an aluminum chassis that uses a lightweight optimized drive axle system with a single composite driveshaft.

Lightweight, smaller 19.5” advanced low-friction tires were used on both the SuperTruck 2 and its custom trailer.

With a focus on the driving environment, the Volvo Trucks SuperTruck 2 features a 48-volt micro hybrid system that acts as a generator with an integrated starter. This provides power for driver comfort features, including an all-electric HVAC system that allows the driver to avoid idling during rest breaks and still have power for amenities.

Source: Volvo Trucks