Fuel consumption testing of tractor-trailers in the European Union and the United States

Published: 2018.05.15

Felipe Rodriguez, Oscar Delgado, and Rachel Muncrief

The ICCT commissioned the Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics of the Graz University of Technology and the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions at West Virginia University to conduct track testing and chassis dynamometer testing to determine the aerodynamic drag and fuel consumption of tractor-trailers in the European Union (EU) and the United States under comparable conditions. Three trucks were tested: a typical EU tractor-trailer, a best-in-class EU tractor-trailer, and a best-in-class U.S. tractor-trailer. The vehicles were tested using the drive cycles and payloads stipulated by the EU CO2 certification regulation and by the U.S. fuel consumption standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

When tested over the regulatory long-haul driving cycle and payload in the EU, the best-in-class EU tractor-trailer had a fuel consumption of 29.9 liters per 100 km. The best-in-class U.S. tractor-trailer consumed a similar amount of fuel at 30.1 liters per 100 km. At 32.6 liters per 100 km, the average EU tractor-trailer consumed the highest amount of fuel over the test cycle, exhibiting 9% higher fuel consumption than the EU best-in-class.

The complete testing reports by Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) and West Virginia University (WVU) can be found in the links below.

TU Graz: https://www.theicct.org/publications/HDV-EU-fuel-consumption-and-emissions-comparison

WVU: https://www.theicct.org/publications/HDV-US-best-in-class-fuel-consumption-testing