Volvo Concept Truck sees 30 per cent fuel reduction


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Volvo Trucks chief project manager Ake Othzen. Volvo Trucks chief project manager Ake Othzen. Volvo Trucks chief project manager Ake Othzen.

Aerodynamic and weight advances see a concept model make big fuel savings

 

Volvo Trucks has unveiled a new concept vehicle that promises to reduce fuel consumption by 30 per cent.

The truck, named the Volvo Concept Truck, was designed with the support of the Swedish Energy Agency and achieves its fuel efficiencies through the use of advanced aerodynamic designs and a lower kerb weight.

Volvo says the design increases the truck’s aerodynamic efficiency by 40 per cent.

"We’ve modified the entire rig and optimised it for improved aerodynamics as much as possible," Volvo Trucks chief project manager Åke Othzen says.

"For instance, we use cameras instead of rear-view mirrors. This cuts air resistance, so less energy is needed to propel the truck."

The Volvo FH 420 used as the basis for the design and the attached trailer have also seen new optimised chassis side-skirts to cover the truck’s rear wheels and all trailer wheels.

The designers also looked to the addition of trailer spoilers and a reshaped truck front casing to optimise the front wheel housings and entry steps.

The changes to the front of the truck included a redesigned air flow solution for the Volvo D13 Euro 6 engine’s cooling system.

Besides aerodynamic changes, the Volvo has lowering rolling resistance tyres, a trailer that weighs two-tonne less than the reference model, and an improved driveline.

The research project, which has been running for five years and has already provided design improvements for the commercial market, aims to reduce fuel consumption by 50 per cent.

"We continuously work on developing more energy-efficient vehicles," Volvo Trucks president and CEO Claes Nilsson says.

"This is a high-priority area both out of environmental concern and in order to reduce our customers’ costs.

"We’re proud to be able to drive this development. Our concept truck showcases the immense power of on-going technical advances."

The US Department of Energy is also contributing to the project as part of a bilateral joint venture.

 

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