June 12, 2014 8:15 AM, EDT
‘SuperTruck’ Program on Track to Meet Fuel-Economy Goals, Report Finds
Cummins Inc.

The research and development project sponsored by the Department of Energy known as “SuperTruck” is on track to meet the goal of 10-plus miles-per-gallon average tractor-trailer fuel economy, according to a new report.

The report by the International Council on Clean Transportation found the four groups working on the project are on schedule to meet the goal of a 50% increase in overall tractor-trailer freight efficiency and a 20% increase in engine efficiency.

“It’s still early in the game, and the main point is how the various teams are finding unique pathways for dramatic efficiency gains,” Nic Lutsey, ICCT’s heavy-duty vehicle program director said in a statement.

“Among the findings, the Cummins-Peterbilt team seems to have really demonstrated the importance of emerging new engine technologies toward achieving the engine and full-vehicle goals,” Lutsey said.

The teams led by Cummins and Daimler met the 50% freight efficiency goal in 2013, and the Cummins team already had achieved a more than 20% gain in engine efficiency, according to the report.

The study found that the program has helped vet particular advanced technologies, such as waste-heat recovery systems, new transmissions and ultra-aerodynamic tractor-trailers, helping those new technologies get closer to commercialization.