Renault Trucks is a French commercial truck and military vehicle manufacturer with corporate headquarters at Saint-Priest near Lyon. Originally part of Renault, it has been owned by the Volvo Group, a Swedish multinational manufacturing company, since 2001.
From its beginnings in 1978 to 2002, the company was called Renault Véhicules Industriels (English: Renault Industrial Vehicles), from 1992 on officially written as Renault V. I.. Until 1999, Renault Véhicules Industriels also manufactured buses.
In 2013, the Renault Trucks T began a new age in the history of Renault Trucks. Voted International Truck of the Year 2015, it rapidly asserted itself among customers for the quality of its build and its energy efficiency. Far from resting on its laurels, Renault Trucks is now taking it to another level. “Customer feedback shows us that the T offers unexpected performance in terms of fuel consumption and driving quality,” explains Sophie Rivière, the Long Haul segment manager at Renault Trucks. “We have been working along three tracks to make our customers even more cost efficient: improve the aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption, reduce the weight to increase payload and encourage eco-driving by means of a predictive cruise control system with GPS.”
Improving the aerodynamics involved Renault Trucks drawing upon its most recent work carried out with the experimental Optifuel Lab 2 vehicle. This has led to the T 2016, featuring an optional built-in spoiler under the bumper: “This spoiler can better direct the flow of air passing beneath the truck and considerably reduce aerodynamic disturbance, a potential source of increased consumption,” explains Sophie Rivière. “Furthermore, this new T introduces a new, lighter roof deflector without any metal framework, enabling the truck to penetrate the air more easily.” Depending on the version, customers can save a further 2% of fuel compared with the current vehicle.
Apart from the improvements made to the truck itself, at the same time Renault Trucks is launching a range of new services which are also designed to reduce fuel consumption. These include the Optivision predictive cruise control system, now connected with a GPS. This makes it possible to adopt a gearshift, acceleration and vehicle speed strategy corresponding to the route being followed. “When you reach a downhill stretch, for example, the system will make the most out of the vehicle’s inertia,” explains Sophie Riviére. “And when at the top of the hill, it will stay in the highest and most economic gear as it ‘knows’ the downhill stretch is coming up.” During each journey, the system records the route, not only that of the truck in question, but also that of all trucks equipped with Optivision that have followed a similar itinerary. Fuel savings can therefore be achieved the very first time a vehicle takes a particular route if another truck using the system has already travelled along it. With the Fuel Eco+ pack, which combines the Fuel Eco pack (inhibited power mode, eco-cruise control with Optiroll freewheel mode control, disengageable air compressor, variable flow steering pump and automatic engine cut-off) and Optivision, hauliers can reduce these vehicles’ consumption by as much as 5%.