Cummins personnel have been focused on the engine and its integration with the powertrain. They have been working with several other companies and research institutions to develop numerous changes in the combustion system as well as advances to reduce internal friction and so-called “parasitic power” – excess power the engine needs to run such things as lube and coolant pumps and air compressors.
In addition to the truck’s exterior, Peterbilt and its partners have been working on improvements in the drivetrain, the idle management system, weight reduction and vehicle climate control. Eaton's advanced transmission facilitates further engine downspeeding for additional fuel economy benefits.
“Aerodynamics has been a significant contributor to the efficiency gains,” said Scott Newhouse, Senior Assistant Chief Engineer of Product Development at Peterbilt. “We are very pleased with what our team has been able to accomplish using a comprehensive tractor-trailer approach.”
Cummins is a prime contractor leading one of four vertical teams under the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck project. SuperTruck is one of several initiatives under the 21st Century Truck Partnership, which is a public-private partnership founded to further stimulate innovation in the trucking industry through the sponsoring government agencies, companies, national laboratories and universities.
Cummins, Peterbilt and their program partners will have invested $38.8 million in private funds over the four-year life of their SuperTruck program, which started in 2010, with critical support coming through awarded matching grants from the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.
Testing will continue in 2013 on a new Peterbilt 579 that Cummins and Peterbilt are confident will take what has been achieved so far to even higher levels. The testing will address use of the tractor-trailer over a 24-hour period; including periods when drivers are at rest but still need power for such things as air conditioning and small appliances.
Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins currently employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide and serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 6,500 dealer locations. Cummins earned $1.66 billion on sales of $17.3 billion in 2012. Press releases can be found on the Web at
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