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A new Volvo truck has made freight efficiency 88% more efficient.

The Volvo SuperTruck demonstrator uses lightweight materials, thermal efficiency upgrades, solar panels and an improved engine to achieve the huge reduction in fuel usage.

The project first started five years ago after the US Department of Energy (DoE) set a challenge for companies to build a truck that would improve freight efficiency by 50%.

Volvo’s latest effort has now far exceeded that goal and the company says that SuperTruck can achieve mileage up to 13 miles per gallon.

Redesigning the chassis using aluminium contributed to an overall reduction in weight of almost one and a half tonnes. The side fairings, hood and roof are made of lightweight carbon fibre materials. The aerodynamic trailer fairings also reduce drag and weight.

The SuperTruck’s battery and interior lighting are powered by solar panels on the cab roof.

Volvo says that an important feature is the smaller 11 litre engine that features advanced fuel injection, new ‘wave’ pistons, turbo chargers, cooling and other technology tweaks.

The new advancements will mean that thermal efficiency will reach 50% in the brakes of the SuperTruck.

Some of the new technology will appear in Volvo trucks over the next year, while other features will not come onto the market for a number of years.

Last month, Volvo Trucks claimed two new world land speed records. It’s custom-built “Iron Knight” truck reportedly achieved an average speed of 131.29 km/h (81.58 mph) and a time of 13.71 seconds over 500 m (1,640 ft) and 169 km/h (105 mph) with a time of 21.29 seconds over 1,000 m (3,281 ft), both from a standing start.

The Iron Knight is 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) lighter than Mean Green and and has 600 hp (447 kW) more. As we detailed last week, it is a 4.5-tonne (5-ton), custom-built tribute to the Volvo FH production truck. Only the 13-l mid-mounted D13 engine and the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission were not custom built.