Shell Starship truck beats US fuel economy record

Shell and Airflow Truck company have achieved a 2.5-time improvement in fuel economy with its Starship truck.

The prototype model travelled more than 2,300 miles in real-world trucking operations and in real-world conditions, including unplanned stops and torrential rain.

The Starship’s total average fuel economy stood at 10mpg, beating the US average of 7.6mpg.

It achieved 178.4 ton-miles per gallon in freight tonne efficiency (FTE) – a 2.5 times improvement on the North American average of 72 ton-miles per gallon.

The best fuel economy attained during the drive was 12.2mpg.

If all two million trucks in the US reached the overall fuel economy and freight tonne efficiency performance of Starship, there would be 229 million less tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. 

The final total truck and cargo weight was about 33,112Kg with a payload weight of 18,098Kg.

“We are proud that the Starship Truck was able to complete the coast-to-coast run in real-world trucking operations and conditions, including torrential rains. Our goal with this initiative is to challenge how the trucking industry defines trucking efficiency and further discussions with AirFlow Truck Company and other manufacturers,” said Robert Mainwaring, technology manager for Innovation, Shell Lubricants.

“Through this road trip, we tested the Starship truck, using technologies available today, to provide insight into how trucking fleets and owner/operators could reduce fuel use and emissions as they haul heavy loads. This includes optimised aerodynamics, drivetrain and operational efficiencies, and low viscosity lubricants,” he added.

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