TPI Composites, Inc. (TPI), a leading manufacturer of large-scale composite structures, joined Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and representatives from Volvo Trucks North America today to unveil its new program that will create advanced composite cabs using Volvo's industry-leading cab and sleeper design.
The dual-use cab-sleeper will initially be designed for the U.S. Army's large, logistical wheeled vehicle fleet and then transitioned into commercial sleeper cabs used for interstate trucking applications.
The Army's program will address serious military vehicle issues by being lighter in weight, highly durable, and strong enough to carry the heaviest of armor. For commercial trucking, the program's goals include significant weight reduction that will increase fuel efficiency in trucks.
Volvo Trucks, along with Volvo Technology Corp., will team with TPI to design and produce a prototype composite sleeper cab within the next 19 months. This military and interstate truck program is a congressional initiative supported by Congressman Patrick Kennedy. TPI will also collaborate on this project with the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials.
Steven C. Lockard, president and chief executive officer of TPI, said, "TPI is excited about applying its technology to provide solutions for both the war-fighter and commercial economic activity across the country. A dual-use light-weight, all-composite sleeper cab is a great example of how advanced composite material and process technology can be applied to fight the ever-rising costs of diesel fuel and help alleviate some of the economic transportation burdens for companies across the country."
Once finished, the prototype vehicle will eventually be road-tested by the U.S. Army. Additional prototypes are expected sometime in late 2009 or early 2010.