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NETL Project Partner Daimler Truck North America Debuts Next Level of Freight Efficiency with the Freightliner SuperTruck II
Supertruck 2 on the highway

SuperTruck II is the most aerodynamic truck Freightliner has produced to date.

Daimler Truck North America, LLC (DTNA), working in concert with NETL, has debuted the Freightliner SuperTruck II, which represents the cutting edge of heavy-duty truck design and engineering to reduce carbon emissions while improving the real-world operational efficiency of the truck.

Co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Vehicle Technologies Office and managed by NETL, the goal of the SuperTruck is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from on-road freight transportation and improve their freight efficiency. DTNA engineers investigated next-generation technologies for heavy-duty commercial trucks to clear the technical pathway for their development and potential integration into series production. The project is developing new technologies on the most promising core components and systems to make customers more successful and increase fleets’ operation efficiency.

Building on the success of the previous SuperTruck I project, which overachieved DOE requirements in 2015, SuperTruck II surpassed expectations in aerodynamics, tires, powertrain and energy management. SuperTruck II also doubled the freight efficiency of the base vehicle from the start of the program.

SuperTruck II is the most aerodynamic truck Freightliner has produced to date.

The redesigned hood, bumper and chassis fairing all work well with the current production Cascadia cab structure and allows air to flow undisturbed around the truck. The grille, air intakes and doors were redesigned to be as seamless and clean as possible; no sharp edges compromise the truck’s aerodynamics

Other critical refinements include active side extenders and a roof spoiler system that close the trailer gap by up to 4 inches at highway speeds and an enhanced aerodynamic height control that lowers the truck just inches off the ground for additional aerodynamic improvements.

SuperTruck II’s mirrorless camera system significantly reduces aerodynamic drag. The cameras were tested under all weather conditions and showed great promise in enhancing the driver’s visibility and improving vehicle safety, which supports advocacy for future regulatory changes that would permit manufacturers’ widespread adoption of this advanced technology.

Additional features of SuperTruck II include:

  • Intelligent energy management systems.
  • New tires specifically designed for adaptive tandem axles to reduce vehicle energy consumption and maintenance downtime.
  • An efficient powertrain capable of achieving lower down speeding and greater fuel savings through reduced drag overdrive.

“Our decision to focus on improvements to core truck components was based on the objective to maximize freight efficiency for our customers while helping to reduce the carbon footprint of trucks and engines,” said Derek Rotz, Director, Advanced Engineering, Daimler Truck North America. “Taken all together, the combined innovations developed for the Freightliner SuperTruck II have provided us the opportunity to explore the technologies needed to meet the demands facing the trucking industry in the coming years.”

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.