Bridgestone Americas Inc. is developing new tire technologies aimed at significantly reducing the environmental impact of the more than 3.5 million heavy-duty Class 8 long-haul tractor trailer trucks on the nation’s roads.
Bridgestone will receive federal funding as a team member of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck II program. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will match the Bridgestone investment dollar-for-dollar, to create prototype tires in all three axle positions (steer, drive and trailer). The program will incorporate six different tire technologies, including tire sizing, curing, casing construction, casing compounds, tread patterns and tread compounding.
The prototype tires are expected to deliver up to a six percent improvement in fuel efficiency through a 30 percent decrease in rolling resistance compared to the MY2009 baseline product tires, while meeting or exceeding customer expectations in wear and traction. At full implementation of the technology over the Class 8 vehicle population, nearly three billion gallons of diesel could potentially be saved per year, corresponding to 30 million metric tons of annual CO2 emissions reduction.
“Bridgestone is committed to engineering innovative products and solutions that maximize uptime, improve efficiency and deliver best-in-class performance for our commercial customers,” said Steve Charles, vice president of product development, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
“Additionally, this project is closely aligned with our internal goal to produce best in class products that contribute to reducing global CO2 emissions by 50 percent or greater by the year 2050.”
The SuperTruck II program was created by the DOE to research, develop and demonstrate technologies to improve heavy-truck freight efficiency by more than 100 percent, with an emphasis on technology, cost-effectiveness and performance.
The predecessor SuperTruck program launched in 2010 has already positively impacted the efficiency of current and newly launching products of the participating companies. SuperTruck II will continue to accelerate the development of advanced efficiency technologies that are not currently available in the market.