Daimler Demonstrates its Alternative Fuel Capabilities

Daimler is demonstrating the alternative fuel capabilities of its trucks and engines with its L.A. to D.C. CNG Cross Country Tour, as well as involvement in other sustainability projects.

La To Dc On Cng

In National Harbor, MD, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) highlighted its most recent green achievements, including the launch of the new 2014 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution powered by a new Detroit engine and a review of the company’s recently completed L.A. to D.C. on CNG Cross Country Tour.

DTNA’s commitment to green technologies is part of parent company Daimler AG’s global “Shaping Future Transportation” initiative. Launched in 2007, the initiative is focused on reducing criteria pollutants, carbon dioxide and fuel consumption through the utilization of clean, efficient drive systems and alternative fuels.

“At DTNA, innovation is directed toward product development that increases fuel efficiency while also improving the reliability of our trucks,” says Martin Daum, president and CEO, Daimler Trucks North America. “These innovation-focused efforts have led DTNA to pace the industry in terms of regulatory compliance and fuel efficiency, as well as reduce the overall total cost of ownership for our customers.”

The Next Evolution of Diesel Efficiency

With the introduction of the Cascadia Evolution, featuring the new Detroit DD15 engine platform, DTNA has unveiled some of the most advanced aerodynamic and fuel efficient enhancements in the industry.

The Cascadia Evolution delivers up to an additional 7% improvement in fuel economy over an EPA 2010-compliant Cascadia equipped with a first generation aerodynamic package and up to 5% compared to a current model year 2013 Cascadia equipped with the latest aerodynamic upgrades.  

And, pushing the boundaries of efficiency even further, an optimally spec’d Cascadia Evolution with additional aerodynamic enhancements achieved 10.67 miles per gallon in controlled testing at an independent test track. This achievement was verified by Automotive Testing and Development Services (ATDS), an independent, third-party auditor using high-accuracy fuel flow meters.

“With the Cascadia Evolution, we achieved substantial fuel savings, which benefits our customers and strategically aligns with our global initiative to reduce fuel consumption through product innovation,” says Wilfried Achenbach, senior vice president of engineering for Daimler Trucks North America. “We continue to reach significant milestones well ahead of the competition.”

Pacing Regulatory Efforts

Through strategic alliances with federal agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DTNA supports and drives important environmental legislation through product development.

For example, now in the second year of the five-year, $40 million, DOE “Super Truck” research and development program, DTNA and other project partners are examining opportunities that significantly improve freight efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of Class 8 trucks.

In February 2012, the EPA certified DTNA’s complete portfolio of model year 2013 on-highway, vocational and medium-duty vehicles as fully compliant with the new GHG14 regulations. DTNA is the first and only North American commercial vehicle manufacturer to be certified as GHG14-compliant.

“We recognize the role of federal government regulations in shaping product development and buyer behavior, and will continue to work cooperatively and productively with the government to drive innovation,” says Daum.

Green Commitment

Alternative fuel technologies also play a key role in DTNA’s overall environmental strategy. As part of its commitment to sustainable product development, DTNA recently completed its first-ever CNG Cross Country Tour.

The L.A. to D.C. on CNG tour started in Long Beach, CA, on May 17, 2012 and took a Freightliner Cascadia 113-inch BBC day cab equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine to Freightliner Trucks dealerships throughout the United States, ending in Washington, D.C. on May 24. The tractor – which hauled a 53-foot trailer loaded with 30,000 lbs. – was filled up with CNG every 250 miles at available public fueling stations (on average), with 450 miles being the longest distance between fill-ups, resulting in an estimated fuel cost savings of $700. 

“The CNG tour clearly demonstrated the ability to drive significant distances in a heavy-duty CNG-powered truck,” says Daum. “DTNA is committed to forming strategic alliances to help create the infrastructure needed to establish environmentally sustainable solutions.”