Report reaffirms environmental benefits of enviroTruck

TORONTO — A joint study by U.S. public and private sector policy and research organizations, found that devices contained in the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s enviroTruck would provide significant greenhouse gas (GHG) savings.

The Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future, International Council on Clean Transportation, Southwest Research Institute and TIAX, found during a comprehensive modelling study that fuel consumption for new tractor-trailers could be lowered by 20 percent starting in 2012 and as much as 50 percent beginning in 2017 with the introduction of 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 the introduction of all the technologies and strategies examined in the study would result in an estimated 8 billion gallons of diesel fuel saved annually from the U.S. trucking industry beginning in 2030, with lesser reductions being achieved as soon as 2012.

The report also 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 percent 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.”

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