March 27, 2015 - At North America’s biggest commercial vehicle exhibition, the Mid-America Trucking Show, the Daimler subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is presenting new products of the Freightliner and Western Star US-brands as well as the SuperTruck study.
The study demonstrates a wide range of possibilities for significantly improved efficiency of road freight transport in the future. The highlight among the production-ready products at the trucking show is the new Western Star 5700 XE, which will be produced in Cleveland, North Carolina, beginning in May 2015. The tractor has sophisticated aerodynamics and is equipped with the highly efficient new Detroit powertrain with the downsped DD15 engine and the DT12 automated transmission. As a result, the truck consumes almost 15 percent less fuel than the reference vehicle.
The new SuperTruck study provides further evidence of Daimler Trucks’ technological leadership. In addition to the existing series-production vehicles the SuperTruck from Freightliner shows how targeted measures in aerodynamics, energy management, the use of an intelligent powertrain and other levers can further reduce fuel consumption. For example, the SuperTruck is equipped with the DT12 automated transmission and predictive technology that controls the vehicle speed using GPS and digital 3D maps.
In test drives, the SuperTruck at a weight of 29.5 metric tons (65,000 lbs GVWR) consumed an average of about 19 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (12.2 mpg) at a speed of around 100 km/h (65 mph). In addition, the SuperTruck achieved a 115 percent freight efficiency improvement (measured in ton-miles per gallon) over a 2009 baseline truck.
DTNA initiated the SuperTruck research and development project in 2010. The U.S. Department of Energy supported the project with a $40 million grant. Daimler’s SuperTruck greatly surpassed the Department of Energy’s aim to increase the freight efficiency of U.S. Class 8 trucks by 50 percent. The project’s improvements to aerodynamics and the powertrain have already been incorporated into the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution and Western Star 5700 XE series-production vehicles. For example, about every fourth Freightliner Cascadia Evolution is equipped with the automated DT12 transmission. Increasing numbers of customers appreciate the benefit of a fully integrated Detroit powertrain from a single source, in which the engine, the axles and the transmission come from Daimler Trucks and are thus perfectly synchronized.
While these optimizations are feasible for customer use, the SuperTruck study also shows that for example ultralight materials are not economically viable at this time.
“The SuperTruck engagement is another component of our strategy to make future road transportation as environmentally friendly and fuel efficient as possible,” said Martin Daum, President & CEO of Daimler Trucks North America.
NAFTA remains an important sales driver for Daimler Trucks
Daimler Trucks expects the NAFTA market to grow by around 10 percent in 2015. New products such as the Western Star 5700 XE and successfully established products such as the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution should substantially help the company to maintain its market leadership in the region.
In 2014 Daimler Trucks was once again the undisputed market leader for medium-duty and heavy-duty Class 6-8 trucks in North America, where it had a share of 37.2 percent. Sales rose by 19 percent to a record high of 161,500 vehicles. The Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, which has supplemented the product range since March 2013, has contributed greatly to this sales success.
About Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. DTNA produces and markets vehicles of the Freightliner, Western Star, and Thomas Built Buses brands. The DTNA production network encompasses nine locations. In addition to the headquarters and manufacturing plant in Portland (Oregon), DTNA has four manufacturing plants in North Carolina (Cleveland, Gastonia, High Point, and Mount Holly) and one manufacturing plant each in Redford (Michigan) and Gaffney (South Carolina). DTNA has two additional manufacturing facilities in Mexico (Saltillo and Santiago Tianguistenco).