Shell Lubricants’ Starship 2.0 will hit the highway in May to demonstrate fuel-efficient tech

Shell Lubricants’ Starship 2.0 will hit the highway in May to demonstrate fuel-efficient tech
Shell Lubricants is using Starship 2.0, a hyper-fuel efficient Class 8 truck, to evaluate current fuel-efficient technologies that can lead to carbon reduction in road transport. (Courtesy: Shell Lubricants)

HOUSTON — In May, Shell Lubricants will launch Starship 2.0, a hyper-fuel efficient tractor-trailer, to demonstrate how Class 8 truck sector energy usage can be reduced by harnessing available energy efficient technologies to accelerate toward a carbon neutral future.


Shell Lubricants is building on the lessons learned from the initial Shell Starship program launched in 2018. Shell Starship 2.0 is a new truck, featuring a new chassis and drivetrain, along with updated safety and fuel-efficient upgrades.

“Shell Starship 2.0 will feature technologies that have advanced since its inception and is built to stimulate discussion and drive the conversation around trucking efficiency and carbon reduction,” said Jeff Priborsky, global marketing manager of the on-highway fleet sector for Shell Lubricants. “We have taken a number of technologies and have drawn them together in a single design with a holistic, connected approach that is crafted to optimize performance and efficiency.”

Freight ton efficiency will be used as the primary measure because it is the most relevant measure of energy expenditure, according to Shell Lubricants. Shell will use this as the primary metric to advance conversations aimed at reducing the road transport industry’s carbon emissions. Freight ton efficiency is a more relevant statistic for judging the energy intensity associated with moving cargo from Point A to Point B because it combines the weight of cargo being moved with the amount of fuel consumed.

Shell Starship 2.0 is expected to carry a 40,000-pound payload — higher than the 30,000 pounds the truck carried in 2018, when it attained 178.4 ton-miles per gallon for freight ton efficiency, a nearly 248% improvement over the North America average freight ton efficiency of 72 ton-miles per gallon for trucks. In addition, the first Shell Starship achieved 8.94 miles per gallon on its 2018 run, a significant increase from the U.S. Class 8 average of 6.4 miles per gallon. The Shell team is looking to improve the 2018 figure with the new Starship.

Shell Starship 2.0 conducted regional testing earlier this year as it prepared for its coast-to-coast drive, which will again begin in San Diego, California, and end in Jacksonville, Florida. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) will monitor and verify the results of the Starship 2.0’s journey.

“The ability to test Shell Starship 2.0 under different road and operating conditions is a great benefit as we prepare for the cross-country journey,” said Robert Mainwaring, technology manager for innovation at Shell Lubricants. “With many updates to the truck, it has given us the opportunity to make sure the new drivetrain and the efficient technologies built into the truck are all operating in concert with each other.”

Shell Lubricant Solutions has produced a short video to preview how Shell Starship 2.0 will help take Class 8 truck efficiency to the next level through advanced innovative technologies, hyper aerodynamic design, fuel saving technology and advanced lubricants. Results will be shared following the completion of the journey. Additional details will be announced about updates to Shell Starship 2.0 shortly.

For more information about the Shell Starship 2.0, click here.

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