When we see huge trucks and trailers pumping exhaust gases into the atmosphere, their environmental credentials are likely to be the last thing on our minds. However, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz may have made a significant breakthrough that could make these vehicles much greener.
At the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, the company revealed the latest stage of its Aerodynamics Truck & Trailer Initiative: including a new Mercedes-Benz Aerodynamics trailer and an Aerodynamics rigid truck.
The Aerodynamics trailer (pictured) is said to lower air resistance by around 18 per cent compared to a regular Mercedes-Benz Actros, potentially reducing fuel consumption by four-five per cent in real conditions. In the case of annual mileage of 150,000km, this could reduce diesel consumption by around 2,000litres and save around five tonnes of CO2 on a yearly basis.
So how have these remarkable savings been achieved?
Numerous measures have been implemented including: the use of a spoiler on the bulkhead that reduces the distance to the tractor unit and lowers air resistance by one per cent; plastic side trim panels; a diffuser that improves wind resistance by one-two per cent; and a rear taper that measures up to 400mm and improves the air resistance of the entire tractor unit by around seven per cent.
In addition, Mercedes is introducing a rigid truck project that takes ideas from the Aerodynamics trailer and applies them to a rigid truck.
In this case, the Mercedes-Benz Antos was used as the base vehicle and then developed to produce the best possible aerodynamics figures. The result was that the aerodynamics truck was able to improve aerodynamics by around 12 per cent: enough to reduce fuel consumption by three per cent and save around one tonne of CO2 a year.
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