Michelin X-One XDA wide single tires are helping to save fuel for a Class 8 tractor with a diesel reformer/fuel cell/ hybrid electric drivetrain.
The tractor is being prepared by Southwest Research Institute for the project's prime contractor, SunLine Services Group. This group is receiving its financing from the United States Army National Automotive Center, a group within the Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command. The program is part of the federal government's 21st Century Truck Initiative.
All X-One tires incorporate Michelin's patented InfiniCoil technology, a stabilizing belt construction that runs perpendicular to the radial ply to optimize wear and handling. The X-One tires also incorporate conventional full-width steel belts and one radial ply, which complement the tire's stabilizing action.
The hybrid tractor project introduces fuel cells to a Peterbilt Motors Co tractor in a phased approach. Until now, no liquid fuel reformer/fuel cell systems were available to fully power a Class 8 tractor. The Army is interested in fuel cells and electrification of diesel engine loads because they offer clean, quiet, potentially durable systems. This type of power plant improves efficiency, reduces exhaust emissions, achieves enhanced silent watch capability, eases cooling loads to tightly packed radiators, and decreases space necessary for an engine.
Other features of the tractor include lightweight design, Cummins ISL engine, manual transmission, single-drive axle, compressed hydrogen system by Dynetek, roof-mounted conformal panel, and a research equipment evaluation area behind the cab.
Partners in the project are Cummins Inc, Dynetek Industries Ltd, General Dynamics C4 Systems/Acumentrics, Michelin North America, Peterbilt, and Southwest Research Institute.