With support from the Swedish Energy Agency, Volvo Trucks has developed a new vehicle for evaluation purposes, the Volvo Concept Truck. It is the result of a five-year research project aimed at creating more energy-efficient vehicles.
Volvo Trucks claims the concept vehicle cuts fuel consumption by more than 30 per cent through a 40 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency and the use of low rolling resistance tyres. These tyres – prototype tyres, of course – have been provided by official project tyre supplier Continental. Size 315/70 R22.5 tyres were selected for both the steer and drive axles, while the concept truck’s trailer is equipped with 385/55 R22.5 tyres.
“To strengthen our longstanding collaboration and development partnership with Volvo Trucks, Continental Tires is participating in the project as the official tyre supplier,” comments Klaus Kreipe, head of original equipment truck tyres at Continental. “We supported the ambitious and future-oriented project goals by supplying special prototype tyres with superior rolling resistance performance.”
Continental states that it undertook “several innovative measures” during the prototype tyres’ development in order to produce a product that combines improved fuel efficiency with well-balanced performance in other criteria.
Work on the Volvo Concept Truck has been in progress since 2011, and the ultimate aim is to improve the efficiency of long-haul truck transportation by 50 per cent. The Volvo FH 420 truck is powered by a Volvo D13 Euro 6 engine and is the sum of contributions from Volvo developers and a number of key suppliers. Volvo Trucks notes that while the concept vehicle will not come to market at a later date, some of its aerodynamic features have already been implemented on Volvo Trucks’ series-produced vehicles – and more solutions may be fitted in the future.