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What the supertruck program has yielded so far

Last updated on April 12, 2023 in Sustainability by Grady Meston |  3 minute read

The SuperTruck program is a partnership between the Department of Energy (DOE) and OEMs to improve heavy-duty Class 8 efficiency and get new, efficient energy technology to market faster.

The SuperTruck program is gearing up for Super Sustainability to encourage OEMs and other manufacturers to combat carbon emissions through the supply chain.


Fleet managers who understand and implement sustainability practices can align their organizations with large OEMs and supply chain manufacturers who are part of the next $162 million SuperTruck phase 3 series funding


Let’s take a closer look at the current results of SuperTruck, objectives for the next phases and how telematics can help you implement and scale your fleet’s sustainability efforts to better align with these efforts. 

Governments and OEMs want sustainable businesses

With rising fuel costs, increased traffic congestion and global support for greener solutions, governments around the world want sustainable solutions for transportation. 


For example, cities like Los Angeles, London and Mexico City have implemented low emission zones to help control emissions and improve air quality. Also, funding through programs like SuperTruck and SmartWay offer options for OEMs and governments to support new energy-efficient technology development in the heavy truck space.


green trees surrounding truck on road


SuperTruck sets its sights on sustainability

Launched in 2009, the first phase of SuperTruck aimed to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%.


In the first phase, approximately 38 new technologies were introduced as having the potential for development by 2025. Some of these innovations include combustion technologies, advanced aerodynamics and battery-based idle reduction systems.


SuperTruck 2, the second phase of the program, began in 2016 and should be completed in late 2022. The objectives of this phase are to:

  • Double freight efficiency relative to a “best in class” 2009 truck, with a stretch goal of 120%
  • Demonstrate 55% Brake Thermal Efficiency on an engine dynamometer
  • Develop technologies that are commercially cost effective 

The five SuperTruck 2 projects are on track to more than double Class 8 miles per gallon.  


green grass in the form of a graph


The next step is SuperTruck 3, which is in the planning phase. It will fund projects aimed at electrifying freight trucking along with efforts to expand electric vehicle infrastructure and lower vehicle emissions. 

What to expect for phase 3 of the SuperTruck program

Phase 3 of the SuperTruck program will help five commercial vehicle manufacturers develop battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) technologies. 

The five OEM’s selected and their topics of focus include:

  • Paccar — Awarded $32.97 million to develop 18 Class-8 BEVs and FCEVs with advanced batteries.
  • General Motors — Awarded $26.06 million to develop and demonstrate four FCEVs and four BEV Class 4-6 trucks.
  • Daimler Trucks North America — Awarded $25.79 million to develop and demonstrate two Class 8 FCEV trucks with a 600-mile range, 25,000-hour durability, that can match payload capacity and range to diesel trucks. 
  • Ford — Awarded $24.95 million to develop and demonstrate five FCEV Class 6 trucks targeting cost, payload, towing and refueling times to match ICE vehicles.
  • Volvo Group North America — Awarded $18.07 million to develop a 400-mile-range Class 8 BEV tractor-trailer.


What does this mean for you and your fleet?

Since programs like SuperTruck support sustainable technologies, fleets can take advantage of these new advancements sooner and implement real solutions to reduce emissions and cut costs.


OEMs that are part of the SuperTruck program split the cost of development 50/50 with the DOE, meaning a better chance of that technology making it to market.


Also, with faster creation of sustainable technology, you can start to plan which new development is right for your business based on your potential return on investment.


With regard to electric vehicles (EVs), we’ll see faster adoption in urban distribution, refuse and regional haul cases because of smaller battery requirements. Battery capacities are expected to increase while charging time, cost and weight are expected to decrease with growing research and development. 


Depending on your fleet's applications, increased charging infrastructure may be required before going electric. While many fleets are able to operate solely using their own charging depots, this is not always viable, particularly in long-haul applications. To help expedite this process, governments are making serious commitments and programs to build more charging stations.


The Geotab platform now supports over 300 EV models with rich data such as real-time battery state-of-charge, charging power, charging energy, driving and auxiliary energy.

Prepare today for the green tech of tomorrow

At Geotab, we help fleets reduce their carbon footprint with insights from real-world data that also reduces costs and improves operational efficiency. We can help you on your road to efficiency today so that you’ll be ready to implement the new technologies as they become available. 


Download our Practical guide to creating a green fleet policy for Class 8 fleets and learn some of the steps you can take today that can prepare you for a more sustainable future

If you liked this post, let us know!


Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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