Shell and Airflow Truck Company Introduce Starship
Shell Lubricants and AirFlow Truck Company have unveiled a new hyper fuel-efficient truck. This next-generation vehicle, named Starship, was designed and built by the companies with the aim of demonstrating what is possible in reducing energy demand in freight transportation. It uses currently available technologies to minimise the amount of energy it takes to transport a load of cargo from one point to another.
“We seek projects such as the Starship initiative to keep Shell at the leading edge of technology development and energy efficiency. Working with AirFlow Truck Company and other suppliers gives Shell Lubricants the opportunity to align with innovative companies to explore what is really possible in fuel efficiency” says Robert Mainwaring, Technology Manager for Innovation, Shell Lubricants. “Transport accounts for more than one quarter of the world’s total energy use and one-fifth of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions: 72 % of which is attributable to road transportation of which trucks make up a significant part. Increasing efficiency and fuel economy in the commercial transport sector could therefore make considerable progress to help reduce emissions,” he continued.
With new fuel economy regulations on the horizon across the globe and the need for continuing advances in fuel economy, Shell Lubricants recognises that a holistic approach to making advances is important. However, obtaining significant fuel economy improvements in heavy duty trucks is a challenging process given the size and construction of a tractor and trailer and it is an area which has not had much focus in recent decades.
“Shell firmly believes that collaborative, co-engineering, relationships are essential to the effective reduction in emissions and enhancements in efficiency and have developed such co-engineering relationships with several world leading OEMs,” said Mainwaring. “The relationship with the AirFlow Truck Company and other suppliers to build the Starship Project is part of a collaborative process led
by Shell that encourages co-engineering and has resulted in a truck that will be used to challenge how trucking efficiency is defined.”
Shell provided technical consultation on engine and drivetrain components, as well as recommendations for lubricant needs for use in the Starship Project truck. The truck is using Shell’s next generation, low viscosity, fully synthetic heavy-duty engine oil. The use of fully synthetic base oils, plus advanced additive technology provides protection against wear, deposits and oil breakdown. The lower viscosity delivers superior fuel economy compared to a conventional SAE 15W-40. The lubrication technology shares the same viscosity as Shell Rimula Ultra E+ and is being tested by OEMs around the world.
“As the leader in heavy duty lubricants we have a responsibility to the industry beyond simply our products. That’s why I’m so proud of this collaboration with AirFlow Trucking – which provides a unique opportunity to explore ways to improve fuel economy in transport application. Moving forward, we need creative solutions to the world’s energy challenge such as Starship that will benefit our customers, drivers and the wider world for years to come” says Chris Guerrero, Global Brand Manager, Heavy Duty Lubricants.