Lubricants

Shell and Airflow Truck Company debut the Starship, a hyper-efficient truck

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 minimize the amount of energy it takes to transport a load of cargo from one point to another.

The Starship is an innovative, material step towards reducing emissions and increasing overall efficiency and fuel economy in the transport sector. This next-generation truck features a custom, aerodynamic design and aims to demonstrate improvements in fuel economy for class 8 trucks while lowering CO emissions.

In May 2018, Shell and AirFlow Truck Company will demonstrate the performance of the Starship on a U.S. coast-to-coast drive: beginning in California and ending in Florida. The truck will carry the maximum viable amount of freight within the allowed gross vehicle weight of 80,000 lbs/36,287 kgs.

“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 give Shell Lubricants the opportunity to align with innovative companies to explore what is really possible in fuel efficiency,” said Bob 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.”

Shell provided technical consultation on engine and drivetrain components, as well as recommendations for lubricant needs for use in the Starship 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,” said Chris Guerrero, Shell’s global brand manager for heavy-duty lubricants.

“By bringing together the best of today’s existing and custom technologies, we aim to find out just how energy efficient goods transport by road can be – today – and elevate the conversation about the energy transition,” the oil major said in a statement.

The AirFlow Truck Company was founded in 1983 by Bob Silwa.

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