During the 2018 Technology and Maintenance Council Annual Meeting in Atlanta, ROTELLA®, a family of heavy-duty engine oils from Shell, and AirFlow Truck Corporation introduced their “Project Starship” – an aerodynamic Class 8 concept truck that is the culmination of 18,000 hours of work over three years.
The structure of the truck is almost entirely composite, as the bespoke cab, hood, bumper, front and rear side skirts were all made with CFRP. Shell says the composite structure, along with the truck’s 5,000-watt solar roof, make the Starship extremely fuel efficient. The truck also features a custom U.S. Department of Transportation-approved wrap-around windshield.
“We seek projects such as the Starship initiative to keep Shell at the leading edge of technology development and energy efficiency,” said Bob Mainwaring, technology manager for innovation, Shell Lubricants. “The transportation industry is constantly changing, and our goal is to be at the forefront of innovation by collaborating with companies like AirFlow and others to develop creative solutions that provide benefits for years to come.”
Shell says the truck has a total gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, effectively reducing emissions for the amount of energy used to transport goods from point A to point B. The freight ton efficiency will be measured using the truck’s onboard telematics system and will be verified by an independent third party. The truck will be loaded with clean reef material that the Coastal Conservation Association will use to build an artificial reef off the coast of Florida.
Shell will host trucker appreciation and educational events at truck stops where the Starship truck will be on display during a coast-to-coast run starting in May 2018. Truckers can learn how they can improve their fuel economy, participate in chances to win prizes and a sweepstakes as well as enjoy a relaxing space to decompress on their journey. The date of each stop is pictured below.