June 02, 2012

Daimler Commercial Vehicles impress during extensive test drive

Daimler’s US commercial vehicle subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) once again demonstrates its innovative strength in the field of environmentally friendly technologies: In Washington D.C. – in the presence of US government representatives
and the US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood – DTNA CEO Martin Daum presented the new heavy-duty truck Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, which will become available on the US market starting next year. When compared to the current model (EPA 10 Cascadia), the new truck consumes up to 7 per cent less fuel.

These fuel savings were confirmed by an independent agency (Automotive Testing and Development Services) in the course of a one-week drive across the US under real-life conditions. The 2,400-mile (almost 4,000 km) route led from San Diego, California, to Gastonia, North Carolina. During the test, the two heavy-duty semitrailer trucks – weighing approximately 34-tons or 76,000 lbs. each – traveled at an average speed of 62 mph (around 100 km/h).

According to Martin Daum, two key factors led to the positive result of this Evolution of Efficiency Tour - “The tremendous fuel savings of the new Freightliner Cascadia are primarily due to the new Detroit DD15 engine as well as the aerodynamic measures. The fuel efficiency drive was a unique opportunity for us to conduct a test under real-life conditions of our latest technologies and the tremendous fuel saving potential they offer to our customers.”

The DD15 engine of the Detroit brand, which is part of Daimler, is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 14.6 litres of displacement. As with all Detroit engines, it is equipped with Daimler BlueTec technology, which reduces emissions to near-zero levels and even falls below the EPA 10 emissions standard for the NAFTA region (comparable to Euro-VI).

Freightliner trucks comply with Greenhouse Gas 2014 regulations
Already at the beginning of this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified the Daimler commercial vehicles subsidiary’s complete portfolio of long-distance trucks, medium-duty trucks, and vocational vehicles of the Freightliner and Western Star brands as fully compliant with the Greenhouse Gas 2014 (GHG14) regulations.

This means that DTNA is leading in the US commercial vehicles industry. The company already meets the standards set by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which will not go into effect until the beginning of 2014. These regulations aim to permanently reduce the green-house gas emissions of heavy- and medium-duty trucks. The EPA believes that through the new GHG14 regulations, trucks and buses of the model years 2014 through 2018 are projected to reduce oil consumption by 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas emissions by 270-million metric tons.

A glimpse of the future: Freightliner Cascadia technology carrier measured with 10.67 miles per gallon
During a test drive with a technology carrier at the proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas, DTNA demonstrated that the fuel consumption of a heavy-duty semitrailer truck can be reduced even further through ideal airflow
and additional technical fine-tuning.

For the test drive, the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution was equipped with a Detroit DT12 automated transmission, low rolling-resistance wide-base tires, and a trailer specifically designed by DTNA with aerodynamic aspects in mind. This technically and aerodynamically optimised combination of a tractor and a trailer (total weight: approximately 34-tons) traveled exactly 1,000 miles at an average speed of 60 mph (97 km/h). The resulting fuel consumption was 10.67 miles per gallon, or approximately 22 litres per 100 km.

Shaping Future Transportation: 2,700-mile test run with CNG truck
DTNA presented another impressive test result in the area of alternative drive systems. For the first time, a natural gas-fueled Freightliner Cascadia completed a tour from San Diego to Washington D.C. (approximately 2,700 miles), interrupted only by refueling stops every 350 to 500 miles. The CNG truck only used public gas stations to refuel, thus impressively demonstrating that alternative drive technologies represent a real alternative even today. In light of this success, Daum promised that DTNA will keep pushing forward in the field of alternative drive systems and continue to cooperate closely with government agencies and form strategic alliances with other economic sectors. “We want to live up to our leadership position by promoting environmentally friendly, resource-conserving, and sustainable transportation solutions,” he said.
Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses have been pressing ahead with the development of environmentally friendly technologies since 2007. The leading commercial vehicle manufacturer consolidates these activities in its worldwide 'Shaping Future Transportation' initiative, which aims to turn the zero-emission commercial vehicle of tomorrow into reality through efficient and clean drive systems and alternative fuels. The initiative involves the sparing use of resources and the reduction of emissions of every kind, while guaranteeing maximum traffic safety.


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