unveiled a concept vehicle that cuts down on fuel consumption by more than 30 percent.
It’s based on a Volvo FH 420 heavy-duty truck and is part of a research project aimed at creating more energy-efficient long-haul rigs.
“This is a high-priority area both out of environmental concern and in order to reduce our customers’ costs,” Claes Nilsson, chief executive of Volvo Trucks, said Tuesday. “We’re proud to be able to drive this development.”
The truck’s fuel savings come from shaving 4,410 pounds from the weight of a comparable vehicle. A 40 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency also sliced fuel consumption.
“We’ve modified the entire rig and optimized it for improved aerodynamics as much as possible,” said Åke Othzen, chief project manager at Volvo Trucks. “For instance, we use cameras instead of rear-view mirrors. This cuts air resistance, so less energy is needed to propel the truck.”
Volvo tested the model in Sweden last fall.
While this vehicle will not go into production, some of its aerodynamic features are being incorporated into Volvo trucks.
The project is part of a bilateral joint venture between Sweden and the U.S., with support from both the Swedish Energy Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The goal is to improve the efficiency of long-haul trucks by 50 percent.