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Success Story
DOE’s “More Electric Truck”
Could Revolutionize the
Heavy-Duty Trucking Industry
Background                                    following accessories to
                                              electrical power on this
The engine compartment on today’s             research demonstration
heavy trucks is a hot and crowded place.      vehicle: the heating, venti-
Pumps, alternators, compressors, and          lating, and airconditioning
other engine accessories all give off heat    (HVAC), brake air compressor,
as they compete for space and for the         and oil and water pumps.
energy they need from the engine. These       Once they are validated, these
accessories have little effect individually   and future electrically driven
on engine power, but together – via belts     components will become
and pulleys – they can rob a diesel           commercially available to the
engine’s fuel efficiency. As fuel prices      trucking industry.
continue to rise, truck and fleet owners
need ways to reduce their fuel use in         The More Electric Truck
order to stay profitable. Now, thanks to a    features an electrically driven                       The prototype More Electric Truck
collaboration launched in 2000 between        HVAC module and a high-
private industry and the U.S. Department      efficiency 30 kW switched
of Energy (DOE), truck and fleet owners       reluctance (SR) generator. The HVAC
will have more fuelsaving options avail-      module incorporates scroll technology
able to them. That’s because a DOE            that previously was available only on        The DOE More Electric Truck’s new
project called the “More Electric Truck”      stationary HVAC units. Other features        HVAC system combines everything into
has introduced new technology that takes      include an integrated auxiliary power        one preassembled, precharged, and
a big load off truck engines by replacing     unit (APU) and a “shore power” feature       pretested module that eliminates up to 65
mechanically driven accessories with          that permits the truck to plug in like a     parts. Modular, swappable, electrically
electrically powered accessories. More        recreational vehicle at a campground.        driven accessories such as this improve
Electric Trucks use less fuel, are more       Shore power is available at select truck     vehicle serviceability, which contributes
reliable, and require less maintenance.       stop demonstration sites in the U.S.,        to lower maintenance costs. They are
                                              where drivers don’t have to idle their big   also more reliable than mechanical
                                              diesels to stay comfortable and to keep      components. The new HVAC unit
                                              their engines warm. The new More             replaces the two separate heating and
                                              Electric Truck accessories are not just      air-conditioning units used today on
The Technology                                add-on pieces of hardware, but are part      most trucks with sleeper cabs (one in the
The DOE More Electric Truck concept           of a highly integrated system specifically   dashboard and one under the sleeper cab
incorporates accessories powered by a         designed to meet the needs of the truck      bunk). When used with the integrated
generator located inside the flywheel         industry while minimizing weight and         idling reduction features, the HVAC
housing, which also serves as the starter     costs.                                       provides truck drivers with a more
motor. Researchers converted the                                                           comfortable and quieter sleeping
                                                                                           environment that enhances their
                                                                                           comfort and job satisfaction.Truckers
                                                                                                                                Success Story

typically idle for six hours or more during        Caterpillar provided engine technology,
rest periods and while waiting at delivery         mechanical design, electronics, controls     Sid Diamond
depots, to keep the engine warm, stay              and overall systems integration; Kenworth    U.S. Department of Energy
comfortable, and power electrical equip-           supplied truck expertise and testing         FreedomCAR and Vehicle
ment. Estimated savings from full imple-           capabilities; Emerson brought its electric   Technologies Program
mentation of the More Electric Truck’s             motor and power electronics knowledge        (202) 586-8032
technology advances include:                       to the program; and EMP developed the        sid.diamond@ee.doe.gov
                                                   new electrically driven water and oil
                                                   pumps for the project. Several More          Lee Slezak
• 2% On-Road Fuel Savings                          Electric Trucks built on International       U.S. Department of Energy
                                                   9200 chassis equipped with Cat C13
• 6% Fuel Savings during Idling                                                                 Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity,
                                                   engines began a 12-month field validation
                                                                                                FreedomCAR and Vehicle
• 8% Total Fuel Savings                            in Fall 2004. Once the More Electric
                                                   Truck technologies achieve their             Technologies Program
                                                   designated performance targets, they         (202) 586-2335
                                                   will be available to original equipment      Lee.Slezak@hq.doe.gov
The reduction in engine idling alone               manufacturers (OEMs) for licensing,
could save up to 838 million gallons of            something that should happen around
diesel fuel every year and annually reduce         mid-decade. From there, the technologies
engine emissions equal to that produced            will become available to the marketplace
by 15.5 million cars. Argonne National             as options for fleets and truck owners to
Laboratory researchers have shown that             consider as they purchase new trucks.
eliminating overnight idling would save            Judging from the industry’s response to
more than $2,000 a year per truck in fuel
and engine maintenance costs, which
                                                   the prototype More Electric Trucks shown     A Strong Energy Portfolio
                                                   at recent industry events, demand for the
would put the payback period for the                                                            for a Strong America
                                                   products should be very high.
added investment in a More Electric truck
at about 18 months. Argonne’s work also                                                         Energy efficiency and clean,
shows that trucks idling overnight put an
estimated 7.6 million tons of carbon                                                            renewable energy will mean a
dioxide, 140,000 tons of nitrogen oxides,          Benefits
                                                                                                stronger economy, a cleaner
and 2,400 tons of carbon monoxide into             • mproves fuel efficiency by as
our atmosphere.                                      much as 8%                                 environment, and greater energy
                                                   • Reduces vehicle maintenance costs          independence for America. Working
                                                   • Increases vehicle maintenance intervals    with a wide array of state, community,
Commercialization                                    and serviceability
                                                                                                industry, and university partners, the
Launched in 2000, the More Electric                • Contributes to increased profitability
Truck program is a $4.8 million collabo-                                                        U.S. Department of Energy's Office
rative effort between DOE, Caterpillar             • Adds to truck driver comfort while         of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Inc., Kenworth Truck Company, Emerson                driving and resting
Electric, and Engineered Machine                                                                Energy invests in a diverse portfolio
                                                   • Eliminates harmful exhaust emissions
Products (EMP). Each partner brought                 produced during idling periods             of energy technologies.
core competencies to the project:

                                                                                                October 2004

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For more information contact:
EERE Information Center • 1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463) • www.eere.energy.gov