Volvo unveils SuperTruck 2; boasts of 134% increased freight efficiency

Volvo Trucks North America has unveiled the company’s SuperTruck 2, which is part of a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy meant to increase the freight efficiency of Class 8 heavy-duty, long-haul trucks.

The program tasked OEMs with achieving a 100% freight efficiency improvement over their submitted 2009 baseline. A statement from Volvo Trucks said the company not only achieved the DOE objective but exceeded expectations, achieving 134% increase in freight efficiency.

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

 Volvo said advanced aerodynamics are the key to optimizing Super Truck 2's fuel efficiency. Those aerodynamic features include:

  • cab wedge-shaped from front to back including a raked and wraparound windshield
  • front end designed around a downsized cooling package
  • fully aerodynamic trailer with gap fairings, skirts and boat tail, as well as an adjustable ride height
  • replacing the traditional hood and cab-mounted mirrors with a streamlined camera monitoring system to reduce drag by more than 4%

The entire tractor-trailer combination was designed to smoothly displace air with minimal resistance, resulting in 50% lower drag than Volvo Trucks’ 2009 baseline.

In addition to the aerodynamics advancements, Volvo said its engineers implemented several weight reduction strategies to achieve a significantly reduced curb weight of 27,000 lbs. for the combined truck and the trailer. 

Volvo said its 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. 

“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.