Shell Starship real world fuel economy revealed

Shell/Airflow truck returns 8.94 miles per gallon

shell starship truck

After a journey covering more than 3,700 kilometres the real-world fuel consumption for the Shell Starship has been revealed.

The ultra-sleek and aerodynamic truck was developed by Shell Lubricants and the AirFlow Truck Company and aims to help find ways to save truck operators at the fuel bowsers.

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The truck, with a gross weight of just over 33 tonnes (about 28% heavier than a regular Class 8 truck in the U.S.), returned average fuel consumption of 31.6 Litres/100km (8.94 miles per gallon).

That figure compares well to the quoted 43.7 Litres/100km (6.46 miles per gallon) average U.S. fuel economy for transport trucks.

The team behind the truck saying fuel efficiency could have been even better had the vehicle not been affected by a few unforeseen factors on the cross-country journey, including unplanned stops and torrential rains.

The Starship truck attained a freight tonne efficiency of 178.4, a near 248% improvement over the North America average freight tonne efficiency.

Shell Starship Key Data:

  • Powered by Cummins X15 efficiency engine
  • Engine runs Shell synthetic engine oil
  • Aerodynamics include carbon fibre cab and full side skirts
  • Low rolling resistance tyres

“The Shell team didn’t take the easy road to trying to achieve the best results they could with their first drive with the truck,” – Mike Roeth, Executive Director, North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

“They knew they wanted to make the truck run, but they went a step further.

“They carried a much heavier load than many average truckers on the road carry, travelled a longer route in an uncontrolled environment with a variety of technologies not tested in these real-world conditions.

“We’ll move forward to apply learnings from this test run and implement additional technologies on the truck for future testing.

“While it would be easy to say the Starship Initiative has been very successful, we know there is more we can do to continue to drive industry dialogue and share learnings moving forward.”

Related: Global LNG use continues to accelerate

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