Volvo’s SuperTruck 2: A remarkable leap in efficiency

Volvo Supertruck (

Volvo Supertruck (

Surpassing DOE’s challenge, Volvo’s SuperTruck 2 is 134% more efficient than 2009 baseline.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued Volvo Trucks a challenge: design a tractor-trailer that’s 100 percent more efficient than an equivalent baseline vehicle. Today, Volvo has not only met that challenge but exceeded it. The automaker proudly claims that its SuperTruck 2 has achieved an astounding 134 percent improvement in efficiency compared to a 2009 baseline tractor-trailer.

Volvo’s SuperTruck 2 owes much of its efficiency gains to advanced aerodynamics and the use of lightweight materials. The cab is meticulously designed, featuring a sleek, wedge-shaped profile and a wraparound windshield. The inclusion of fairings and a boat tail on the trailer allows the SuperTruck 2 to cut through the air with 50 percent less drag compared to Volvo’s 2009 baseline truck.

Reducing weight was a key part of the efficiency strategy. Volvo employed materials like a composite driveshaft and reduced the number of axles in comparison to other American trucks. Furthermore, the cab is intentionally shorter, reducing the amount of material needed in its construction.

The holistic approach to SuperTruck 2 includes a 48-volt mild hybrid system that functions as a generator with an integrated starter. This system allows drivers to operate comfort features without idling the engine for extended periods, further improving efficiency.

While initially a concept, the lessons learned from SuperTruck 2’s development are being applied to Volvo’s production trucks, making them even more efficient. Importantly, the efficiency gains have been tested in real-world conditions rather than just a controlled environment. The SuperTruck 2 will be showcased for the first time at the American Trucking Associations’ 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, alongside the all-electric VNR Electric 6×2 Day Cab Tractor with an impressive range of up to 275 miles and formidable electric power.

Volvo’s SuperTruck 2 represents a remarkable leap in efficiency, demonstrating the automaker’s commitment to sustainable and innovative transportation solutions.