enviroTruck devices could cut fuel consumption in half by 2017: US study

Truck News

TORONTO, Ont. — A joint US study has found that fuel consumption on new tractor-trailers could be lowered by as much as 50% by 2017 with the introduction of all devices contained in the Canadian Trucking Alliances’ enviroTruck.


The comprehensive modelling study, conducted by major US public and private sector policy and research organizations (Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future, International Council on Clean Transportation, Southwest Research Institute and TIAX, LLC), also found that in the shorter term, fuel consumption for new tractor-trailers could be lowered by 20% in 2012 using all environTruck devices, which include speed limiters, fuel efficient tires, aerodynamic devices and increased use of longer combination vehicles (LCVs). Beyond enviroTruck technologies, the report also examined advanced technologies such as hybrid electric drives.  


The core of the analysis, performed by the Southwest Research Institute, consisted of a series of modified simulations to predict the fuel saved by incorporating various technology and operational measure combinations in 2007 truck technology.


The modelling simulations found that the introduction of all the technologies and strategies examined in the study would result in an estimated eight billion gallons of diesel fuel saved annually from the US trucking industry beginning in 2030, with lesser reductions being achieved as soon as 2012. The report found that cumulative fuel savings between now and 2030 could reach 90 billion gallons of diesel fuel. The corresponding cumulative CO2 benefits of this fuel savings would be 1.1 billion metric tonnes by 2030 and an annual reduction of 97 million metric tonnes beginning in 2030.


For the shorter period, the 2012 to 2017 time-frame, the Southwest Research Institute models revealed that CO2 reductions of 20% could be obtained through the widespread use of enviroTruck technologies such as side skirts, boat-tails and single wide tires.


The major impediment the report found to these devices making their way onto tractor-trailer configurations was that due to “the short payback period demanded by the trucking industry, most of these technologies will not be adopted into the fleet absent regulation or incentives.”


“Time and time again we read studies that highlight the GHG savings enviroTruck technologies create. It is clear that a federally-administered rebate program could make these estimated savings a reality,” said CTA senior vice-president, Stephen Laskowski. “Furthermore, without provincial government involvement to allow boat-tails and single tires at full weights, the industry will not be able to deliver the GHG savings it otherwise could.”


The report, entitled Reducing Heavy-Duty Long haul Combination Truck Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions, was directed by an expert steering committee composed of representatives from major truck and power-train manufacturers, government agencies, truck fleets, and fuel economy and heavy-duty experts from non-profit organizations. For a copy of this report or for more information regarding CTA’s enviroTruck, please e-mail publicaffairs@cantruck.ca.

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