Efficiency Run 2015.
Large-scale field test.
Using technologies available on the market, the fuel consumption, and therefore the CO₂ emissions, of modern truck combinations can be reduced by a double-digit percentage. This was the finding of a field test, the results of which were presented by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Berlin. This field test with the project name “Efficiency Run” is of great significance for achieving CO₂ targets for road freight transport. This is because the Efficiency Run has demonstrated that fuel consumption, and therefore also CO₂ emissions, can be significantly reduced – also at lower cost – if optimisation efforts focus not just on the engine of the tractor unit, but on the vehicle as a whole.
Under realistic conditions.
The series of tests was conducted by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in cooperation with the leading German logistics companies DB Schenker Logistics, Grosse-Vehne and Elflein. This involved genuine freight being driven on genuine routes under realistic conditions. The tests were supervised in detail by the DEKRA testing organisation, which laid down the test conditions, carried out the measurements and evaluated the results.
One of the key results: the two Actros standard semi-trailer combinations that were optimised for the Efficiency Run each consumed around 12 to 14 percent less fuel than the standard semi-trailer combinations of the respective transport companies based on their fleets in 2014.
The requirements for the Efficiency Run can be reduced to a simple formula: as close to the real world as possible. This means that the test should use standard tractor units with standard powertrains. The Actros tractor units were hooked up to weight-optimised Krone Eco semitrailers, which are likewise available on the market in this form.
In addition to the lower kerb weight thanks to lightweight design and the use of aluminium instead of steel at the front and rear, the Eco semitrailers were aerodynamically optimised for the Efficiency Run with side panelling, Wabco OptiFlow Tail (foldable rear spoilers), rounded-off underride guard, removal of stowage boxes, low-weight aluminium support legs and drip edge. Optimisation of the vehicles was rounded off with low rolling-resistance tyres.
Expectations clearly exceeded.
The Efficiency Run also investigated the potential of the Long Combination Vehicle – once again with a clear result. In the test, the Long Combination Vehicle showed a reduction in consumption of around 17 percent compared with the standard semi-trailer combination used in volume-based transport. “We have proven: if we want to significantly further reduce both fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions, we need to look beyond just the engine. We must widen our focus to include the tyres, semitrailer and other key components. This is the only way in which we can achieve our objective in an affordable manner,” stated Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses.
Supervision of the test runs by DEKRA.
For Daimler, this successful test resulting in double-digit fuel savings with a consequent reduction in CO₂ emissions is an incentive to push ahead vigorously with the current approach.
Bernhard: “The Efficiency Run was conceived as a real-world field test – we have now successfully completed it. We have clearly exceeded our goal of a six percent fuel saving. The Efficiency Run was a first step, which will be followed by other ones. We feel sure that this will uncover additional potential that will not only make our trucks even more environmentally compatible, but will also be economically acceptable to cost-conscious transport companies.” Video on RoadStars.