The Partnership responded that it agreed with the recommendation (see Appendix C), and that each of the three SuperTruck teams will continue the research in these areas of friction, wear, and lubrication in the engine and drivetrain. Both Daimler and Navistar have friction-reduction phases in their projects. The DOE believes that the 50 percent reduction goal feasibility (combined powertrain and driveline losses) will receive reasonably thorough evaluation through the SuperTruck projects. The committee suggests that the DOE will need to be proactive with the SuperTruck contractors to ensure that they allocate adequate resources in order to achieve the expected thorough evaluation.

Findings and Recommendation

Finding 5-11. There is a need for an updated study of the current driveline power demand of 12 hp. Furthermore, to represent vehicle power demand power consumptions only, it is appropriate that the term “powertrain” be removed from the 21CTP Goal 5.b. statement.

Recommendation 5-7. The term “powertrain” should be removed from the 21 CTP Goal 5.b statement. In addition, the Partnership should update its study on the driveline power demand of 12 hp.

Finding 5-12. There has been no apparent collaboration on lubricant projects between the DOE and OEM partners.


Finding 5-13. Summarizing the committee’s findings on vehicle power demands: Project prioritization by the 21CTP roughly follows the consumption ranking of the several heavy-duty truck operating loads listed in Table 5-1 and technology risk. However, sometimes market forces provide considerable impetus for quite good development and implementation—for example, in tire rolling resistance and, to a lesser extent, trailer aerodynamic components. The DOE has identified a strong role in which technology development costs and risks are high, as in its vehicle systems simulation and testing activities for heavy-duty trucks. It has generally followed these principles, to address high cost and risk in the vehicle power demand projects. The SuperTruck projects will provide a unique Partnership opportunity to provide both further high-risk technology results for certain vehicle power demand reductions and real-world validation of numerous integrated systems.

Recommendation 5-8. Although it is tempting to assume that the SuperTruck projects will address all of the technologies required to reduce tractor-trailer fuel consumption, in practice many technologies may be left behind, particularly those that are not yet very mature. The Partnership should carefully review the technologies that have been identified and determine whether any technologies to reduce vehicle power demand are not being adequately addressed by the SuperTruck program. The DOE should define projects and find funding to support the development of technologies beyond the scope of SuperTruck.


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