5 Reasons Why You’re Not Using Fuel-Saving Technologies

BOULDER, CO. — A new report published by The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Cascade Sierra Solutions (CSS) has found five hurdles for why fleets may not be adopting fuel saving technologies.

“The report clearly shows the gap between perceptions and reality of the adoption of technologies. If implemented, currently available trucking technologies could earn fuel savings of as much as $20,000 per truck with a payback time of less than 18 to 24 months,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE.

So what are the hurdles?

1. Payback time and high initial cost of trucks

2. Lack of access to capital

3. Lack of credible information

4. Insufficient reliability, and…

5. Unavailability of technology.

All five barriers do not exist in a vacuum, NACFE says in the report, and are inherently linked in many ways. The overarching barrier? Credible information.

“For example, if there is a lack of credible information with respect to verifying the real-world fuel-saving potential and/or reliability of a technology, this makes accurate calculations of payback time a challenge,” NACFE explained.

Moreover, lack of information can also affect the ability to obtain capital to invest in new technology.

“Taken together, uncertain fuel savings and reliability as well as lack of access to capital contribute to slow technology adoption,” NACFE said.

That depressed demand means that manufacturers are less likely to invest in new technology development, which leads to a reduced number of product offerings. “This lack of technology availability has a feedback effect by reducing technology uptake,” NACFE explained, “which in turn limits the ability for technology performance data to be generated.”

Data for the study was collected using in-person interviews, focus groups, and online surveys of various stakeholders throughout the on-road freight industry: large and medium sized fleets, for-hire, private, lease/rental, fleets that only purchase used trucks, as well as owner-operators. They also surveyed companies within the truck and trailer supply chain that manufacture, sell, and service fuel-saving technologies.

The five barriers all affected stakeholders to a different degree, with smaller end users naturally more concerned about cost than larger carriers — no surprise there. Interestingly, however, there was a significant difference regarding the availability of technology between the end users and the manufacturers of the technology. All of the end users were very outspoken about the lack of product availability, while the truck and trailer integrators saw it as a non-issue.

You can download the full report here. 

(And it’s well worth your time to visit the NACFE website here.)

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