Shell's AirFlow Starship goes cross-country
Shell's AirFlow Starship goes cross-country. Shell's energy-efficient AirFlow Starship begins its cross-country trek today and developers of Tesla's Semi are watching.
The aerodynamic truck, equipped with 5,000-watt solar panels, aims to break the record for trucking fuel efficiency. Its hybrid electric axle system and custom automatic tire inflation will also make the Shell truck more energy efficient. Read more here.
Shell designed the truck in conjunction with AirFlow Truck, which is owned by Robert Sliwa. Sliwa has been striving for a more fuel-efficient truck since he founded the company in 1983. Back then, he averaged 4.4 mpg. In 2012 his BulletTruck drove across the country with 65,000 pounds of weight, all while averaging 13.4 mpg.
The AirFlow Starship's 5,000-watt solar panels provide energy for electrical components such as lights and wipers. Other than the aerodynamic design, the hybrid electric axle system and custom automatic tire inflation make the truck more fuel efficient. Open-grill shutters allow air to cool the engine, and they automatically close to reduce drag when cooling isn't needed. The boat tail design on the back also reduces drag