GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 11, 2002) — Michelin North America Inc. is working with the U.S. Army to save the over-the-road trucking industry fuel and money.
The tire maker said its X-One XDA wide single tires are helping save fuel for a Class 8 tractor that's akin to those used to pull trailers over the nation´s highways. The rig, being prepared by Southwest Research Institute, features a diesel reformer/fuel cell/hybrid electric drivetrain.
The project's prime contractor, SunLine Services Group, is receiving funding from the U.S. Army National Automotive Center (NAC), a unit within the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command. The program is part of the U.S. Government's 21st Century Truck Initiative
“We are honored that our X-One…has been chosen for this landmark program,” said Randy Clark, vice president of marketing for Michelin Americas Truck Tires. “The X-One has proven its ability to save fuel in all of its applications due to its inherently lower rolling resistance.”
X-One tires incorporate Michelin´s patented InfiniCoil technology, a stabilizing belt construction that runs perpendicular to the radial ply and is designed to optimize wear and handling, Michelin said.
The hybrid tractor project introduces fuel cells to a Class 8 Peterbilt Motors Co. tractor in a phased approach, according to Michelin. There had not previously been liquid fuel reformer/fuel cell systems available to fully power a Class 8 tractor.
Michelin said the U.S. Army is interested in fuel cells and the electrification of diesel engine loads because they offer clean, quiet and potentially durable systems.
Features of the tractor, in addition to its Michelin tires, include lightweight design, Cummins ISL engine, manual transmission, single-drive axle, compressed hydrogen system by Dynetek, roof-mounted conformal panel and a flexible research equipment evaluation area behind the cab.
Partners in the project are Cummins Inc., Dynetek Industries Ltd., General Dynamics C4 Systems/Acumentrics, Michelin, Peterbilt and Southwest Research Institute.