Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors recently announced the impressive results of the test of their “SuperTruck,” a tractor-trailer designed to cut fuel usage by half with a higher-efficiency engine and an aerodynamic tractor-trailer. Under real-world driving conditions, the SuperTruck’s fuel economy was found to be 54 percent higher than a regular long-haul truck, averaging nearly 10 miles per gallon (mpg), according to the companies’ joint statement. A regular long-haul truck typically achieves between 5.5 and 6.5 mpg.
With 2 million registered tractor-trailers on U.S. roads[^1], a 54-percent increase in fuel economy promises huge potential for the reduction of oil consumption nationwide. The cost savings for the industry could be substantial as well. Cummins and Peterbilt estimate a $25,000 savings per truck annually, “based on today’s diesel fuel prices for a long-haul truck traveling 120,000 miles per year.”
An article in the New York Times cited a A National Research Council report, concluding “that the United States could halve by 2030 the oil used in cars and trucks compared with 2005 levels by improving the efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles and by relying more on cars that use alternative power sources, like electric batteries and biofuels.” We couldn’t agree more. In fact, Sustainable America aims to reduce oil usage for transportation in America 50 percent by 2030. We plan to meet this goal by actively promoting fuel efficiency, advanced biofuels, electric vehicles, and natural gas as a transportation fuel. SuperTrucks hold strong promise for the future of fuel economy in America, and we are thrilled to follow their progress.