DOE and Freightliner Collaborate to Improve Aerodynamics, Fuel Efficiency
Freightliner LLC, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), recently completed a two-year study on the impact of aerodynamics on fuel efficiency. Utilizing its wind tunnel, Freightliner engineers conducted a study that has produced specific design guidelines to benefit all existing and future heavy-duty trucks in the nation’s fleets.
At the DOE headquarters, Freightliner along with other OEM participants, including DaimlerChrysler, provided details of their study to stakeholders from the DOE sponsors. The importance of aerodynamic research on heavy-duty trucks was highlighted to members of Congress and DOE staff.
In 2004, reacting to the rising cost of diesel fuel, the DOE solicited the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and its heavy-duty truck OEM members to collaborate on aerodynamic research and demonstrate its effects on fuel economy.
“We co-funded this study with OEMs so we could expedite the development and introduction of aerodynamic innovations on heavy-duty trucks, ultimately reducing fuel consumption and our dependency on foreign oil,” says John Mizroch, deputy assistant secretary, DOE.
Research has shown that even small improvements in a truck’s aerodynamic design can save millions of gallons of fuel when applied to fleets across the country.