Volvo Concept Truck Improves Fuel Economy by More Than 30%

Volvo Trucks started life in 1928 with the LV Series 1. These days, the Volvo Group Trucks owns many other companies, including Renault Trucks, Mack Trucks, and UD Trucks. Just as its car-making counterpart, Volvo Trucks is one of the most forward-thinking companies in the heavy-duty truck industry.
Volvo Concept Truck 4 photos
Photo: Volvo Trucks
Volvo Concept TruckVolvo Concept TruckVolvo Concept Truck
Being the second largest manufacturer of heavy-duty vehicles and transport solutions in the world, a lot rides on the shoulders of the Swedish outfit. In the heavyweight class above 16 tonnes, the name of the game is fuel economy because this type of vehicle is exclusively used on the long haul. Five years ago, Volvo made a bet with itself to create a truck that consumes 50 percent less fuel than the current lot.

Cue the Volvo Concept Truck, an experimental vehicle that cuts fuel by more than 30 percent when compared to the production truck on which it is based. Indeed, there’s still a long way to go until Volvo reaches the magic number but then again, the concept truck is a step towards that direction. That said, what’s so special about this Volvo FH 420 equipped with the Euro 6-compliant D13 inline-six turbo diesel?

The most important key features are, as you can see from the photograph above, the aerodynamic trailer and tractor. To reduce air resistance even further, Volvo Trucks engineers replaced the mirrors with video cameras. Even the side skirts that cover the rear wheels of the tractor and the trailer wheels are aerodynamically optimized, as are the front wheel housings and entry steps.

"We continuously work on developing more energy-efficient vehicles. This is a high-priority area both out of environmental concern and in order to reduce our customers' costs. We're proud to be able to drive this development. Our concept truck showcases the immense power of on-going technical advances," commented Claes Nilsson, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Trucks.

According to Volvo Trucks, some of the technological advancements of this research project will be implemented on series production vehicles in the future. This is jolly good news because better fuel economy equals smaller operation cost for trucking companies. If we look further down the chain, more economical heavy-duty trucks equals lower prices for everything that can be transported in a semi-trailer.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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