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by Michael Hines
Not your typical fuel-sipping semi-trucks.
The green movement has slowly but surely become a force in the automotive industry. That same movement has not gained much ground in the world of semi trucks. Big rigs still get terrible mileage and release tons of harmful emission. There is however a glint of green on the horizon. Several car companies and designers are working on semis that get better mileage and are more fuel efficient. If you're interested in seeing the future rigs of the "Ice Road Truckers," then continue reading on.
The Innovation Truck concept has been designed to both cut and clean its emissions. The Innovation Truck can lower its height while driving using air bladders to improve gas mileage. The concept also features the BlueTec emissions after-treatment system. This system injects a urea-based fluid into the Innovation's exhaust to clean up its emissions.
The Volvo Ants concept is an electric big rig designed by Alex Marzo. Marzo's rig has the shape of an ant (check out its mandible) and is designed to carry several different loads at once to maximize time spent on the road. An all-electric semi may be out of the question, but I can dig the insect-inspired design and the wise use of space.
When Mercedes isn't creating luxury vehicle, they're attempting to reinvent the semi truck as evidenced by the Aero Trailer
. The Aero Trailer has a sleek and functional design. Its front airdam, side trim panels and a rear diffuser all contribute to cutting wind resistance by 18 percent and reducing fuel use by five percent.
This conceptual Mazda big rig is something that all Prius purists can get behind. Designer Vyacheslav Kazarinov's curvy creation is almost entirely emission-less, drawing its power from a hybrid hydrogen fuel-cell diesel engine. Additional power is provided by rooftop solar panels and wind turbines.