NEW YORK, N.Y. – Twenty fleets participating in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) 2018 Fleet Fuel Study demonstrated improvements are still possible even in a market that may feel saturated with fuel-saving technologies.
The 2018 study shows fleets achieved an average of more than seven miles-per-gallon (about 33 liters per 100 kilometers,) just over a mile-per-gallon better than the U.S. national average of 5.91 miles-per- gallon (about 34 liters per 100 kilometers.)
That number means a savings of more than US $8,800 per truck over the national average. Total saved over the 20 fleets was more than US $636 million in 2017 compared to the national average.
The fleets participating in the study are operating nearly 72,000 tractors and more than 236,000 trailers.
The 2017 fuel savings represent a two percent better showing over the year before, and a return to the two percent-per-year average over eight years after a flat year in 2016.
This is the seventh year for the study which compiles data from the participating fleets and compares it to U.S. data for the last 15 years, as well as projections for the next 15 years.
The report looks at the adoption rate and outcomes of 85 different fuel-saving technologies and shows an increase in adoption from 17 percent in 2003 to 44 percent in 2017.
NACFE executive director Mike Roeth says fuel-efficient technologies are adopted and improved on a curve where some technologies like aerodynamic mirrors are widely used and other technologies like solar panels on trucks are emerging and show a smaller uptake. That curve can cause a spike in savings as efficiencies are added or improved or flat periods like the one seen in last year’s report.
Roeth said the findings also show a gap that exists between fleets adopting technologies widely and training their drivers well on how to use them and fleets opting to try a few technologies here and there.
While there is no one solution that Roeth says is best to adopt to quickly increase fuel efficiency – often solutions are best used together and over time – driver training is important.
“The new technology the drivers still need to be active with it. He or she needs to learn and get the best out of it.”
Drivers trained well who were using the technology frequently showed an average of 10.1 mpg during the Run On Less challenge last year.
The study also showed an acceleration in the time-frame manufacturers are able to deliver newer generations of technologies, increasing efficiencies from version to version.
The report is available free to everyone online.
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