WABCO Reiterates That its OptiFlow SideWings Improve Fuel Economy by 1.5 Liters per 100 Km on Tractor-Trailer Combinations

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BRUSSELS, Belgium, December 17, 2013 – WABCO, a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today announced that OptiFlow™ SideWings, its innovative vehicle efficiency technology, has once again demonstrated fuel savings of approximately 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers on tractor-trailer combinations. Mounted on trailers, OptiFlow SideWings are uniquely designed, patented flow-conductors that are specially contoured to optimize airflow around and behind the vehicle, thus reducing energy loss caused by aerodynamic drag.

In trials recently performed at a professional test track in France, attended by customers and professionals from the transport industry, WABCO conducted a live demonstration that compared results among several commercial vehicles that were equipped with OptiFlow SideWings and then tested without WABCO’s aerodynamic panel. STEF transport firm provided two vehicles from trailer builder Lamberet; Fraikin transport operator provided two vehicles from trailer maker Chéreau, and TIP Trailer Services – one of Europe’s largest leasing companies – showcased a trailer made by Krone. In addition, Norbert Dentressangle, another of Europe’s largest transport fleets, showcased one of their vehicles.

Using widely recognized standards set forth by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), test conditions included similar tractor-trailer combinations such as the type of cab, engine, axles and gearboxes; the pattern of body, chassis and axles was also the same for each vehicle. Vehicles were tested traveling at the speed of 85 km per hour. These test results were consistent with WABCO’s cumulative data, demonstrating that vehicles equipped with OptiFlow SideWings improve fuel savings by approximately 1.5 liters per 100 km. As a result, a vehicle traveling 120,000 km a year on European roads could save on average an estimated € 2,000 in fuel costs by installing WABCO’s OptiFlow SideWings.

“STEF is a leader in the transportation and logistics of food products under controlled temperature and we are committed to sustainable development. With a fleet of 1,900 refrigerated trailers in Europe, the Group always embraces innovation to equip its vehicles with the most efficient and environmentally friendly technology solutions,” said Nadège Dubinsky, Technical Director of STEF Vehicles. “We have adopted OptiFlow SideWings aerodynamic technology for trailers because it generates fuel savings and reduces carbon emissions by reducing the trailer’s aerodynamic drag. Equipping STEF trailers with OptiFlow SideWings will help us to achieve our 2014 goal of reducing CO2 emissions per ton per kilometer by 8% within our second CO2 charter signed with ADEME for the 2012-2014 period,” Dubinsky added, referring to the charter of the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management.

“Lamberet is the first trailer builder in France to integrate aerodynamics into the design of its equipment. Our new ‘CX system’ – the winner of a prize for innovation at the recent Solutrans tradeshow in France – is equipped with OptiFlow SideWings,” said Gwenaël Tuet, Director of Studies and Services at Lamberet. “We chose OptiFlow SideWings because WABCO’s system fully supports our product philosophy to provide customers with high-quality refrigerated trailers that are enhanced by the most advanced technologies and tailored to their business needs.”

“With durable, quickly exchangeable modular panels and its easy-lifting attachment system, OptiFlow SideWings are compatible with all platforms, thus improving operability and simplifying maintenance,” said Tuet. “OptiFlow SideWing’s patented airplane shape offers a real advantage over other systems because it generates a thrust that helps to reduce fuel consumption by 1.5 liters per 100 km.”

“These robust results of the fuel-saving performance of OptiFlow SideWings show how WABCO continues to add value to transport companies, fleet operators and trailer builders across Europe and globally through technology leadership that improves vehicle efficiency,” said Christiaan Verschueren, WABCO Business Enterprise Leader, Trailer Systems. “Increasing fuel economy, lowering operating expenses and reducing CO2 emissions demonstrate how fleets and original equipment manufacturers everywhere can incrementally improve their business.”

WABCO is available to advise fleets about multi-year financing possibilities, which would enable customers to benefit from improved fuel economy from the first day that they equip their trailers with OptiFlow SideWings.

About OptiFlow SideWings

In 2013, WABCO further extended its technology portfolio with the launch of OptiFlow SideWings for trailers, the first in a new range of products that improve the aerodynamics of commercial vehicles. With its innovative OptiFlow range, WABCO supports customers to reduce vehicle operating costs, resulting in lower total cost of ownership. By ensuring a minimum of drag and by providing a lighter alternative to conventional trailer skirts, WABCO’s new OptiFlow SideWings contribute to efficiency gains and significant cost-savings over the life of a vehicle.

Behind the tractor wheels and axles, the airflow moves towards the vehicle’s center, providing a high angle of attack for the motion of air currents. The wing profile of the flow-conductor improves the trailer’s aerodynamics by capturing this angled airflow at the lower end of the tractor, creating a force in the driving direction and guiding it to the trailer along the rotating wheels. OptiFlow SideWings are made from material that is lighter and more durable than material used in conventional trailer skirts. OptiFlow SideWings are also easy to install and compatible with any length and type of trailer.

Press photo/ caption: WABCO’s OptiFlow SideWings improve fuel economy by up to 1.5 Liters per 100 Km on tractor-trailer combinations, a recent test demonstrated at a professional test track in France. Pictured here is a vehicle supplied by STEF, a leader in the transportation and logistics of food products under controlled temperature. The trailer showcases WABCO’s aerodynamic OptiFlow SideWings.


WABCO (NYSE: WBC) is a leading global supplier of technologies and control systems for the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles. Founded nearly 150 years ago, WABCO continues to pioneer breakthrough electronic, mechanical and mechatronic technologies for braking, stability and transmission automation systems supplied to the world’s leading commercial truck, bus and trailer manufacturers. With sales of $2.5 billion in 2012, WABCO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. For more information, visit www.wabco-auto.com

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