Shell Starship 2.0 in US coast to coast efficiency run

New iteration of Starship program builds on 2018 debut

Shell Starship 2.0 in US coast to coast efficiency run
The Starship 2.0


Shell's Starship 2.0 future truck has gone coast-to-coast in the US for an efficiency run recording 21.8L/100km with a load of just over 21 tonnes.

Shell said its Starship program exceeded 2018 results in its second cross-country run using energy-efficient technologies to demonstrate what could be achieved driving a truck in real-world conditions.

The truck was designed to draw together technologies in a single vehicle crafted to optimise performance and efficiency.

Following the initial program in 2018, Shell Lubricants Solutions and Shell Technology teams worked to pair outcomes from the first run with recent advancements in technology to develop the Shell Starship 2.0 truck.

The new truck featured a new chassis and drivetrain, along with new safety and fuel-efficient upgrades while maintaining the bespoke body from the original truck.

Shell Starship 2.0 drove from San Diego to Jacksonville, following the same route as in 2018.

A second, shorter 400-mile (644km) evaluation run was conducted to provide additional data about its freight tonne efficiency and fuel economy benefits.

Both trips were monitored and verified by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).

Check out the maiden voyage of the original Starship, here

For the cross-country drive, Shell Starship 2.0 achieved 254 tonne-miles per gallon (108km/litre) for freight-tonne efficiency – a 3.5 times improvement over the North America average freight-tonne efficiency of 72 tonne-miles per gallon (30.6km/l).

Freight-tonne efficiency is the most relevant statistic for judging the energy intensity associated with moving cargo from point A to point B, since it combines the weight of cargo being moved with the amount of fuel consumed, Shell noted.

Shell Starship 2.0 achieved10.8 miles per gallon (21.8l/100km) on its cross-country run as compared to the 8.94 (26.3L/100km) achieved by Starship 1.0 and the 6.4 mpg (36.7l/100km) North American fleet average.

Shell said these numbers were made more significant given Starship 2.0 beat the 178 tonne-miles per gallon for freight ton efficiency achieved in 2018 while carrying an 18% increase in payload, from 39,900 pounds (18,098kg) of clean reef material in 2018 to 47,100 pounds (21,364kg) this year.

"With increasing efforts to decarbonise road freight, we saw an opportunity to further demonstrate that the use of today's efficient technologies can offer significant benefits to fleets," Shell Lubricant Solutions global marketing manager Jeff Priborsky said.

"Understanding that not all fleets run fully loaded from coast-to-coast we felt it was important to conduct a variety of tests to provide additional data that can show how trucking efficiencies work in dif ferent conditions, in order to provide tangible benefits to the freight transport industry."

Quick test

The 400-mile (644km) short-haul evaluation was completed in North Carolina with a cargo weight of 17.5 tonnes (15,875kg), which was chosen to reflect more typical payload commonly used by fleets there.

The average fuel economy was 12.0mpg (19.6l/100km) and the freight-tonne efficiency value was 210 ton-miles per U.S. gallon (89.3km/l). 

While both values are direct consequences of the reduction in cargo mass, these are significant numbers when compared to the U.S. average of 6.4mpg (36.7l/100km) and 72 tonne-miles per gallon (30.6km/l).

The fuel mileage is almost double the US average and the ton-miles is more than triple.

"The efficiency testing with different payloads and miles driven demonstrate that efficient technologies have significant benefits for long-haul and shorter regional-haul applications," Shell Lubricants technology manager for innovation Robert Mainwaring said.

"Fleets and owner-operators can evaluate which technologies are most beneficial for them and pursue them today to find significant fuel savings and carbon emissions reductions."

Shell said the path to a low-carbon energy future will require a range of solutions and says its Starship 2.0 demonstrates what is possible using efficient technologies and lubricants available today.


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