Introducing the Super Huge, Super Fuel Efficient . . . Semi Trailer Truck?


Images via Tuvie

Well, this might be a new one--a green semi truck? Sure, we've seen algae powered locomotives and super efficient high speed trains. But the semi trailer truck is the bane of clean air everywhere--right? Maybe not. Kenyan designer Kioko Muthui has come up with a truck that's not only extremely fuel efficient, but extremely huge, too. Here's a closer look at the ultra slick, oversized vehicle . . .It's called the HST, or the Highly Sophisticated Transporter. A tad presumptious, sure, but accurate nonetheless. According to Muthui:

The HST is a vision for future long-distance road haulage. Designed to transport a high volume of cargo units, the concept features a proposed overall length of 29 metres with a proposed maximum gross combination weight (GCW) of 65 tonnes. Although the HST is considerably larger than contemporary articulated trucks, the concept would be no more difficult to manoeuvre.

Okay, so it's huge, but where does the green part come in? This is a super huge semi truck we're talking about after all. Muthui says:
With reference to contemporary trucks, the HST would feature extraordinary fuel efficiency, a significantly improved driving experience, a higher level of active and passive safety, and enhanced environmental and infrastructural considerations.

And how does he envision the truck doing this, exactly? A number of ways:

A diesel fuelled internal combustion engine would power an electric generator, which would channel power to the motors on two axles--and since the ICE wouldn't directly drive the truck, it would run continuously on the most efficient speed at the most efficient power output. It would also feature a variable power output system that could disable cylinders when unnecessary; like on long flat stretches of road.

It's electric motors would also act as regenerative brakes, storing energy into the battery.

It would also have solar panels on the roof.

As you can see, the truck would also be extremely aerodynamic, with 'slippery' surfaces devoid of windsheild wipers and mirrors to reduce drag.

Finally, its immense size would mean more goods distributed per trip--and if it were saving the energy projected, it could reduce emissions across the entire delivery and distribution industry. If it ever came to fruition, it could be a good way to increase the efficiency of one of the least green vehicles on the road--so here's to hoping for a bigger, greener future of trucking.

For more info, check out the truck's overview (pdf).

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Tags: Designers | Energy Efficiency

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