Kenworth aerodynamic vehicles earn EPA’s SmartWay tag

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Kenworth Truck Co. says its environmental-friendly and “green” commitment to producing aerodynamic fuel-efficient trucks has helped reduce emissions, fuel usage and customer operating costs since it introduced the industry’s first truly aerodynamic truck, the T600A, in 1985. Building on this aerodynamic heritage, Kenworth’s latest models – the new T660 and T2000 – recently were acknowledged as SmartWay-eligible trucks by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership (www.epa.gov/smartway) is a collaborative voluntary program between the EPA and the freight industry. SmartWay-eligible tractors offer a full aerodynamic package, including integrated roof fairings, fuel tank side fairings, tractor-mounted gap reducers, aerodynamic bumpers and aerodynamic mirrors, idle reduction technology readiness, and low-rolling-resistance tires. “SmartWay partners improve their energy efficiency, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality,” says Bob Christensen, Paccar vice president and general manager of Kirkland, Wash.-based Kenworth.

In addition to aerodynamic developments, Kenworth continues its environmental efforts with its new no-idle Kenworth Clean Power system and Kenworth medium-duty hybrid-electric truck.

The Kenworth Clean Power cooling and heating system begins production this summer as an option for the Kenworth T660 with a 72-inch AeroCab sleeper. “Customers with high idling time may receive as much as an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy by not idling, thanks to Kenworth Clean Power,” says Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer. The system also includes high-output, low-current LED lighting and an enhanced sleeper insulation package that provides a significant advancement for energy efficiency in the trucking industry, the company says.

In 2008, Kenworth will begin production of medium-duty hybrid trucks. The new Kenworth T370 Class 7 and T270 Class 6 models will be packaged with the hybrid option. Hybrid trucks offer significant potential, particularly in urban and utility applications, to improve fuel economy. The hybrid vehicles target a 30 percent improvement in fuel consumption combined with responsible environmental practices.