Peterbilt showcases its new SuperTruck

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Updated Nov 14, 2022
Peterbilt SuperTruck II
Peterbilt for the first time showcased its SuperTruck II.

It takes something really spectacular to stand out at a truck show flush wall-to-wall with eye-catching trucks.

Peterbilt's new SuperTruck II demonstrator vehicle, on display this week at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE) in San Diego, is pretty spectacular. 

Initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the goal of the SuperTruck II program is to improve long-haul Class 8 vehicle freight efficiency by focusing on advanced, highly efficient powertrain systems and vehicle technologies that meet prevailing emissions and Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle safety and regulatory requirements. 

Peterbilt SuperTruck InteriorSuperTruck II features a unique aerodynamic shape with a centered driver's seat that improves overall visibility, a right-hand entry stand-up door, pop-out windows, cameras in place of mirrors and custom tires and wheels.

The truck features a 15-liter diesel 48 volt mild hybrid powertrain, a waste heat recovery system and a lightweight chassis for improved fuel economy. The split-level integral cab and sleeper features a large, wrap-around dash, 15-inch digital dash display for virtual gauges and critical vehicle data, an additional display for HVAC, infotainment and navigation controls, an articulated seat that rotates left and right and a pull-out desk. 

You'll find carbon fiber, aluminum and high-strength steel used all around the cab and chassis to save weight (about 4,800 pounds from the tractor and trailer). 

SuperTruck II has three targets: a greater than 100% improvement in vehicle freight efficiency (on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis) relative to a 2009 baseline for a long-haul freight application, demonstration of a minimum 55% engine BTE at 65 mph (104 km/h) on a dynamometer and the development of cost effective efficiency technologies. 

Jason Cannon has written about trucking and transportation for more than a decade and serves as Chief Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. A Class A CDL holder, Jason is a graduate of the Porsche Sport Driving School, an honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee, and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Reach him at [email protected].