In 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched its SuperTruck initiative to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50 percent and poured more than $115 million into the project.
Trucking heavyweights like Cummins, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Navistar and Volvo each lined up with matching investments and goals of shaving miles per gallon and bumping engine and aero efficiencies.
Recently, Jason Cannon of CCJ Magazine rode along with Dean Opperman, Navistar chief engineer and pilot of the company’s SuperTruck, CatalIST. The truck is built on the company’s ProStar but aerodynamic enhancements erase most of the ProStar’s visibly obvious traits. The company used a plastic polymer for the windshield that gives it a more aerodynamic, wrap-around shape. Things like side mirrors – replaced by cameras and monitors – and door handles have been eliminated.