Shell Lubricants has partnered with US-based AirFlow Truck Company to create a hyper-efficient tractor trailer.
Designed to explore the future possibilities for tractor trailers in terms of design, aerodynamics and efficiency, the Starship has a bespoke carbonfibre cab with high aerodynamic efficiency. The design include active grille shutters that operate depending on ambient temperature and a boat tail for drag reduction. A hybrid axle delivers a power boost for climbing hills, an automatic tyre inflation system maintains optimum pressure at all times and a 5,000 Watt solar array charges and stores power for electrical components within the truck.
The Starship will embark on a test programme later this month, which will see it loaded to capacity (36,287 kg) with clean reef material to be used by the Coastal Conservation Association and driven from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida. Its Freight Tonne Efficiency will be tested using its on-board telematics system and verified by a third party, and Shell will host trucker appreciation and educational events at truck stops along the route.