Navistar's agreement to explore composite materials for Class 8 trucks comes on the heels of the company's SuperTruck II project. Photo: Jack Roberts

Navistar's agreement to explore composite materials for Class 8 trucks comes on the heels of the company's SuperTruck II project. Photo: Jack Roberts

The lighter a vehicle is, the better fuel efficiency it generally gets. And according to a financial analyst’s report this week, Navistar will soon be looking at new, lighter-weight materials as a way to further boost Class 8 fuel economy.

According to a report by the investment firm Zacks, Navistar has signed an agreement with TPI Composites to design and develop Class 8 trucks with lighter-weight frame rails and body panels crafted from composite materials.

The agreement comes on the heels of Navistar’s award-winning participation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Super Truck II program, a collaborative effort between government and private industry to explore cutting-edge methods to boost fuel efficiency for Class 8 commercial vehicles.

TPI Composites is a leading company that engages in the development of composite materials based on advanced technologies and manufacturing procedures.

According to the report by Zacks, both Navistar and TPI are seeking to reduce the weight of a Class 8 tractor by approximately 30% in order to improve freight efficiency, while reducing the number of body parts required on the vehicle and extending vehicle life with the use of non-corrosive materials.

Originally posted on Trucking Info

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