Shell Starship 3.0 to accelerate progress toward decarbonization, testing renewable natural gas

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Curved front large, Class 8 truck sits on the ACT Expo floor. The truck is red and yellow, similar to the Shell logo, with a curved front.

Houston, May 2, 2023 – As Shell continues to demonstrate a commitment to the decarbonization of the transport industry, the Shell Starship initiative has led the way forward since 2018. Like the first two versions, the new Starship 3.0 will capitalize on some of the latest available technology, including being powered by renewable natural gas.

“Shell Starship 3.0 will feature some of the best-in-class technologies which are leading the way forward in helping decarbonize the heavy transport sector,” said Dr. Selda Gunsel, President of Shell Global Solutions and VP Fuels and Lubricants Technology, Shell. 

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The truck, which will now be powered by a Cummins X15N™ natural gas engine that will run on Shell Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), which is commercially available and has a low carbon intensity rating[1]. RNG is a natural gas transportation fuel derived from organic waste[2] and is interchangeable with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) in transport vehicles.

“The combination of Shell RNG fuels for fleets and quality, low-friction Shell Rotella lubricants made a natural gas engine a great choice for the next evolution of Starship,” continued Dr. Gunsel.

Shell Starship 3.0 will include components and features that promote lightweight and low aerodynamic drag, along with low rolling resistance tires from Bridgestone. The interior of the truck has been updated to make it comfortable for the driver on the road and inviting for passengers along for the ride.

Summer Demonstration Runs

Shell Starship 3.0 will make a demonstration run on the West Coast in preparation for a cross-country demonstration run from San Diego, Calif, to Jacksonville, Fla. in August. The two previous cross-country runs have followed this route. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) will again monitor and verify the results.

Starship 3.0 will deliver a material demonstration of sustainable freight ton efficiency, utilizing the key performance metric, ton-miles of goods shifted per kilogram of CO2 emitted. The truck will showcase how fleets today can reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions, without losing focus on the cost of their operations. The natural gas engine using Shell R-CNG will reduce emissions when compared with a diesel engine.

Additional details about the equipment on Shell Starship 3.0 and information about the test drivers will be announced soon.

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