3 questions for François Savoye, Energy Efficiency Strategy Director at Renault Trucks
Renault Trucks recently presented a research and development project called Falcon. The aim is to continue the work of Renault Trucks on reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, focusing both on vehicles and trailers. François Savoye, Energy Efficiency Strategy Director, explains the project in more detail.
What is the purpose of the Falcon project launched by Renault Trucks?
The purpose of this project is to develop and test innovative technology for reducing the fuel consumption and therefore the CO2 emissions of our trucks. It's a simple equation: less diesel consumption = less CO2. We will use the experimental vehicle to test these solutions in real traffic conditions at the end of 2018, enabling us to validate specific types of technology. Our aim is for each type of validated technology to be applied as a standard feature, with a customer ROI of two years maximum. It's worth noting that over half the technology tested in our previous vehicle laboratory, Optifuel Lab 2, was then used in standard Renault Trucks T vehicles.
What types of technology will you be testing?
Our work will be focusing on four key priorities, namely optimising the aerodynamics of tractor/semi-trailer units, developing connected tyres with low rolling resistance, introducing new fuel-saving driving aids and improving the drive chain (engine, gearbox and bridges) through a new generation of Rankine heat recovery systems and use of special lubricants.
Why have you developed this project with partners?
When it comes to research and development, it is important to have as much expertise is possible. Renault Truck's know-how lies in the design of industrial vehicles. Michelin's know-how is in the design of tires, whereas that of Fruehauf lies in trailers, and so on. Each company provides its expertise in its own field of competence. In addition, for this project we are using technology that is a long way from our own ecosystem, such as weather forecasting. Working in partnerships is essential for ideas and innovative technology to emerge, through exchanges, discussion and collaboration. We are very pleased that the Falcon project involves 11 partners working alongside Renault Trucks, namely Faurecia, Michelin Total, Fruehauf, Wezzoo, BeNomad, Styl'Monde, Enogia IFP Energies nouvelles, École Centrale de Lyon and Ifsttar - Institut de Recherche.