Volvo SuperTruck project: a ‘knowledge accelerator’

WASHINGTON. At Volvo’s unveiling Tuesday of the truck it produced under the Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck project, the company said the effort had been illuminating, helping its engineers design a vehicle not by improving this or that element but as a whole. “We looked at it as a knowledge accelerator,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “It’s a milestone in our history.” Part of DOE’s objective with this project — and for the next iteration of it announced earlier this year — is feasibility, the idea being to produce technologies and innovations that’ll actually make it into trucks on North American roads. Volvo took an accordingly measured approach to its SuperTruck, Nyberg explained, considering practicality for commercial production of the different technologies employed. U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz toured the Volvo SuperTruck outside the department’s headquarters and expanded on that point. “I think a big part of it is going to be to keep working on the engineering to get the costs down so that these efficient trucks become the standard in the United States and frankly, in the global market,” he said, noting ongoing efforts under SuperTruck II.

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