Ohio State teams with PACCAR to improve heavy-duty truck efficiency and emissions

Posted: November 16, 2021

The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is a key research collaborator in a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SuperTruck 3 initiative.

PACCAR trucks on highway

PACCAR, the Fortune 500 parent company of Kenworth and Peterbilt, leads the project. They are one of five heavy vehicles manufacturers that received funding in this round of the program. CAR also collaborated with PACCAR on a DOE SuperTruck 2 project and is currently working with the company on a DOE-funded Co-optimization of Vehicle and Routes (CoVAR) project.

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy initially launched the SuperTruck Initiative in 2009 to improve heavy-duty truck freight efficiency by 50%. The second iteration, SuperTruck 2, sought to double fuel efficiency for 18-wheeler trucks. Now, selectees for SuperTruck 3 will work to improve medium- and heavy-duty truck efficiencies and reduce emissions of freight transportation. Projects will be funded over five years, subject to appropriations, and recipients will match federal funding, dollar-for-dollar.

Transportation emits more carbon pollution than any other sector of the U.S. economy, making up approximately 29% of emissions. The recent announcements of SuperTruck 3 and Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies projects align with DOE’s commitment to reaching President Biden’s goals of having zero-emission vehicles make up half of all vehicles sold in America by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

Ohio State is the primary research university supporting the PACCAR team, which is tasked with developing 18 Class-8 battery electric and fuel cell vehicles with advanced batteries, along with a megawatt charging station which will be developed and demonstrated. CAR will focus on energy analysis of the truck and fleet data using a combination of model-based machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques. Overall, the PACCAR-led project is funded with $32.9 million, of which Ohio State will receive $1 million.

Qadeer Ahmed

“This project provides the Ohio State team with an excellent opportunity to learn and interact with leading OEM and solution providers for future (super) fleets of electrified, connected and autonomous trucks,” said research associate professor, Qadeer Ahmed who is leading the Ohio State portion of the project.  

PACCAR is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of high-quality light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced powertrains, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.

Category: Research