GREENVILLE, S.C. — Michelin X-One XDA wide single tires are now helping to save fuel on a Class 8 tractor destined to be famous for efficiency.
The rig — being prepared by Southwest Research Institute — features a diesel reformer/fuel cell/hybrid electric drivetrain.
The project’s prime contractor, SunLine Services Group, is receiving its funding from the U.S. Army National Automotive Center (NAC) — a group within the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command.
The program is part of the U.S. Government’s 21st Century Truck Initiative.
“We are honored that our X-One wide single tire, which is gaining popularity with trucking fleets, owner operators and truck manufacturers, has been chosen for this landmark program,” says Randy Clark, vice-resident of marketing, Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “The X-One has proven its ability to save fuel in all of its applications due to its inherently lower rolling resistance. In addition, it delivers excellent performance and handling, while substantially reducing overall weight up to 900 lbs. when used in both drive and trailer positions.”
The hybrid tractor project introduces fuel cells to a Class 8 Peterbilt in a phased approach. Until now, there were no liquid fuel reformer/fuel cell systems available to fully power the propulsion needs of a Class 8 tractor.
This type of power plant improves efficiency, reduces exhaust emissions, achieves enhanced silent watch capability, eases cooling loads to tightly packed radiators and decreases the space necessary for an engine.
Features of the tractor, in addition to the Michelin X-One wide single tires, include: lightweight truck design, efficient Cummins ISL engine, manual transmission, single-drive axle for low rolling resistance, compressed hydrogen system by Dynetek, roof-mounted conformal panel and a flexible research equipment evaluation area behind the cab.
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