Navistar awarded DOE funding to develop aerodynamic trailers

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Navistar announced that it was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to participate in an alternative-vehicle technology project aimed at accelerating the development, evaluation and deployment of advanced, aerodynamic trailers to significantly reduce fuel consumption by heavy-duty tractor-trailers. DOE will contribute half of the $2 million cost of the 30-month project.

The DOE project is aimed at protecting U.S. national and economic security by promoting a diverse supply and delivery of reliable, affordable and environmentally sound alternative energy. In total, DOE will invest more than $14.5 million over three years in alternative-vehicle technology projects in three diverse topic areas: lithium-ion battery materials and manufacturing; thermoelectric heating, ventilation and air conditioning; and aerodynamic heavy-duty truck trailers.

“Navistar is proud to work with the Department of Energy on a project that will help reduce tractor-trailer fuel consumption and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil,” says Jack Allen, president of North American truck operations for the Warrenville, Ill.-based company. “Over the last several years, we’ve developed some of the most fuel-efficient aerodynamic trucks on the road, and we’re excited to apply the aerodynamic breakthroughs of our trucks into a complete tractor-trailer combination.”

Navistar — along with Frito Lay, Kentucky Trailer, Freight Wing, Michelin and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — says it will work to bring to market a tractor-trailer combination and tire package that can reduce the fuel consumption of a heavy vehicle by at least 15 percent. Following development, a commercial fleet will evaluate the benefits of the new technology package through real-world use. After completion of the project, the team members will make this fuel-efficient technology package available for sale.

As part of this project, an optimal integrated aero package will be built around the International ProStar.