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Scania testing spoiler that can cut truck fuel consumption by 2 percent


Scania has begun practical tests of a rear air deflector known as a boat-tail, which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent, which corresponds to an annual saving of 1,200 litres of fuel and 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions for a truck running 200,000 km a year.

The boat-tail is mounted on a normal three-axle semitrailer for European long-haulage. The length of the vehicle combination increases by 30 cm, which is equivalent to the extra length permitted for a taillift or other loading equipment according to the European Union’s Directive 97/27 EC.

“The tests are limited to Sweden and Denmark while we await final word on how road and traffic authorities in the Netherlands and Germany view our interpretation and application of the EU directive,” says Anders Gustavsson, Managing Director of the Scania Transport Laboratory (Scania Transportlaboratorium AB).

Fuel savings of 2 per cent not only reduce the transport industry’s costs but also lead to large environmental gains.

“For the Transport Laboratory trucks, which run 360,000 km per year and consume an average of 26 litres of fuel per 100 km, it represents a annual saving of almost 1,900 litres of diesel and 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions – per truck. This kind of aerodynamic improvement is positive for industry profitability as well as the environment and is equivalent to the results of several years of engine and chassis development work,” Mr Gustavsson says.

A recently introduced EU proposal would amend the current Directive 97/27 EC to allow trailers to be equipped with a rear air deflector that lengths the vehicle combination by 30 cm.

“This is a solution that does not encroach on cargo space and can also be retrofitted on existing trailers. In light of this, I hope that European trailer manufacturers will find it of interest to begin developing an integrated boat-tail. It involves a very simple technical solution that could quickly help reduce transport costs and environmental impact,” Mr Gustavsson concludes.

The Scania Transport Laboratory is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scania that tests and evaluates vehicle characteristics and performance in commercial road haulage. The company’s tasks also include training and coaching its drivers in economical and safe driving techniques. The company accounts for a small portion of the goods haulage to Scania’s European production and assembly units. Its fleet consists of 20 tractor units and about 70 semitrailers.

Scania is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines. A growing proportion of the company’s operations consists of products and services in the financial and service sectors, assuring Scania customers of cost-effective transport solutions and maximum uptime. Employing some 32,000 people, Scania operates in about 100 countries. Research and development activities are concentrated in Sweden, while production takes place in Europe and South America, with facilities for global interchange of both components and complete vehicles. In 2009, net sales totalled SEK 62 billion and net income amounted to SEK 1.1 billion. Scania press releases are available on (


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