Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler’s US commercial vehicle subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), has presented the new heavy-duty truck Freightliner Cascadia Evolution in Washington D.C. The new model will become available on the US market starting next year.
When compared to the current model (EPA 10 Cascadia), the new truck consumes up to 7 percent less fuel, according to Daimler. These fuel savings were confirmed by an independent agency (Automotive Testing and Development Services) in the course of a one-week drive across the US under real-life conditions. The 2,400-mile (almost 4,000 km) route led from San Diego, California, to Gastonia, North Carolina. During the test, the two heavy-duty semitrailer trucks – weighing approximately 34 tons or 76,000 lbs. each – traveled at an average speed of 62 mph (around 100 km/h).
According to Martin Daum, two key factors led to the positive result of this tour: “The tremendous fuel savings of the new Freightliner Cascadia are primarily due to the new Detroit DD15 engine as well as the aerodynamic measures. The fuel efficiency drive was a unique opportunity for us to conduct a test under real-life conditions of our latest technologies and the tremendous fuel saving potential they offer to our customers.”
The DD15 engine of the Detroit brand, which is part of Daimler, is a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine with 14.6 liters of displacement. As with all Detroit engines, it is equipped with Daimler BlueTec technology, which reduces emissions to near-zero levels and even falls below the EPA 10 emissions standard for the NAFTA region (comparable to Euro VI).
During a test drive with a technology carrier at the proving grounds in Uvalde, Texas, DTNA also demonstrated that the fuel consumption of a heavy-duty semitrailer truck can be reduced even further through ideal airflow and additional technical fine-tuning. For the test drive, the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution was equipped with a Detroit DT12 automated transmission, low rolling-resistance wide-base tires, and a trailer specifically designed by DTNA with aerodynamic aspects in mind. This technically and aerodynamically optimized combination of a truck and a trailer (total weight: approximately 34 tons) traveled exactly 1,000 miles at an average speed of 60 mph (97 km/h). The resulting fuel consumption was 10.67 miles per gallon, or approximately 22 liters per 100 km.
In Washington, DTNA also presented another impressive test result in the area of alternative drive systems. For the first time, a natural gas-fueled Freightliner Cascadia completed a tour from San Diego to Washington D.C. (approximately 2,700 miles), interrupted only by refueling stops every 350 to 500 miles. The CNG truck (CNG = compressed natural gas) only used public gas stations to refuel, thus impressively demonstrating that alternative drive technologies represent a real alternative even today. In light of this success, Daum promised that DTNA will keep pushing forward in the field of alternative drive systems and continue to cooperate closely with government agencies and form strategic alliances with other economic sectors. “We want to live up to our leadership position by promoting environmentally friendly, resource-conserving, and sustainable transportation solutions,” he said.