Published on January 9th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro23
An Aerodynamic Trailer Design More Than Doubles Fuel Economy
January 9th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
America’s reliance on big rigs to transport tens of thousands of pounds of goods from one end of the country to another comes at a high cost in both fuel and pollution. AirFlow Trucks has debuted a big rig design that more than doubles the fuel economy of traditional semi-trucks, relying mostly on aerodynamics and efficiency improvements rather than fancy hybrid tech.
While traditional big rigs expend as much as 50% of their power just pushing air out of the way, the AirFlow BulletTruck has a much more aerodynamic design that allows it to slice through the atmosphere with ease. While hauling a 65,000 pound load from Connecticut to California, the BulletTruck big rig managed to average 13.4 MPG, more than double the 6 MPG or so most big rigs average while on the road. That’s even better than the Supertruck, another aerodynamically-enhanced big rig with better fuel economy.
In addition to a massive tapered nose and tire-hiding curtains, the BulletTruck uses LCD screens to replace electricity-hungry manual gauges. A hybrid air conditioning and power steering unit reduces parasitic load, and video cameras replace the massive mirrors all semi-trucks currently require. That one change alone can result in a massive MPG gain, and its even better than some hybrid diesel-electric trucks tried out by Coca-Cola.
AirFlow claims that if the industry adopted its BulletTruck design, it would save 7.5 billion gallons of fuel and 21 million tons of exhaust emissions annually. And all without any crazy-expensive hybrid engine technology or alternative fuels. Just a few small changes can save a lot of fuel, as it turns out, and the BulletTruck has a lot to teach the trucking industry.
Source: Green Car Reports
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