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May 11, 2021 10:30 AM, EDT

Shell Starship 2.0 Split Into Two Cross-Country Treks

Shell Starship truck Shell Starship on display at an industry trade show. This year's excursion will be divided into runs in May and August. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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Shell Lubricants is planning to hold two separate cross-country trips to showcase fuel-efficient truck technologies, the company announced May 10.

Houston-based Shell originally planned to hold one journey to build on the lessons learned from its Shell Starship 1.0 trip that occurred in 2018. Shell Starship 2.0 is instead going to consist of two coast-to-coast trips starting in San Diego and ending in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Given our ambition to conduct the cross-country journey under a variety of real-world conditions, we have decided to conduct two runs in 2021, one in May and one in August,” Jeff Priborsky, global marketing manager of the on-highway fleet sector, said in a statement provided to Transport Topics.

Jeff Priborsky

Priborsky

The May drive will provide results that will be directly comparable to those achieved in 2018. The trek in August will demonstrate the abilities of Shell Starship 2.0 under hotter operating conditions that potentially will include denser traffic.

“With the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 and safety being Shell’s top priority, we have decided to chronicle our second coast-to-coast drive in August, at which point we’ll take you on the journey along with us via photography and video from the road,” Priborsky said. “This timing also aligns neatly with the 2021 ACT Expo [Aug. 30-Sept. 2], at which time Shell will unveil Starship 2.0 achievements.”

Shell Lubricants logo

Shell Lubricants hopes the extra data accumulated will broaden the evaluation and further its understanding of the linkage between the featured technologies and freight-ton efficiency for the custom Class 8 truck. The measure combines the weight of cargo being moved with the amount of fuel consumed.

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency will monitor and verify the results, as it did in 2018. Shell Lubricants hopes to not only showcase fuel-efficient technologies, but also evaluate which can best lead to carbon reduction in road transport.

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The Shell Starship 2.0 features a new chassis and drivetrain, along with new safety and fuel-efficient upgrades. It is expected to carry a 40,000-pound payload, or 10,000 more pounds than Shell Starship 1.0. It underwent regional testing earlier this year.

During the 2018 run, the truck attained 178.4 ton-miles per gallon. Shell Lubricants said that was a nearly 248% improvement over the average in North America. The truck also achieved 8.94 mpg on its run versus the U.S. Class 8 average of 6.4 mpg. The team is looking to improve those figures during its second cross-country trip.

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