Heavy Duty Vehicles
Run on Less roadshow takes a national tour to showcase the next level of tractor-trailer fuel efficiency
In September, seven Class 8 tractor-trailers equipped with recent-model-year Freightliner, International, and Volvo trucks will participate in the first Run on Less roadshow to showcase fuel efficiency technologies. Organized by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Carbon War Room, the event will demonstrate how today’s tractors-trailers use new technologies to achieve best-in-class fuel economy.
A key element of the “Phase 2” heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards adopted last fall was the program’s inclusion of trailers for the first time. That addition alone will deliver a cost-effective 7% improvement in tractor-trailer fuel efficiency.
Heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards are a signature program of the Obama administration, initially adopted in 2011. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a second phase of the program last month, built on the success of the Phase 1 program. Phases 1 and 2 together will reduce fuel consumption of new heavy-duty vehicles by 25-48%, depending on vehicle type, between model years 2010 and 2027.
Heavy-duty vehicles (more than 8,500 lbs. gross vehicle weight) are central to our economy: tractor-trailers carry goods, vocational trucks and heavy pickups help provide services, and transit buses transport passengers. In 2015, heavy-duty vehicles represented only 5% of on-road vehicles but consumed 30% of all highway fuel. Tractor trucks dominate this sector, accounting for about two-thirds of heavy-duty oil consumption, followed by vocational vehicles and heavy pickups.
New fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, proposed this summer, have just run the gauntlet of public comment on their way to final adoption next year. As proposed, these Phase 2 standards would provide major gains in fuel efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles by 2027.
The Phase 2 truck fuel efficiency proposal is heading in the right direction, but has a few miles to go
The fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards proposed today by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation would mean major gains in fuel efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles by 2027. The standards would deliver savings at the pump to truck owners and operators while reducing freight costs for businesses and for American families. The heavy-duty program is also a key element of the president’s climate action plan.
Heavy-duty pickups and vans have annual sales of more than 700,000 units and consume about 400,000 barrels of oil per day. The first US fuel efficiency and GHG emissions standards (Phase 1) for heavy-duty vehicles, adopted in 2011, will yield a 12% reduction in fuel consumption, on average, for heavy-duty pickups and vans by 2018.
Working government is not an oxymoron: How savings from federal agency actions on energy efficiency could save us $2.6 trillion
“Washington, D.C.” has become a synonym for “dysfunction” in the last few years, prompting many who care about energy efficiency policy to turn their attention to states. But that view is due to a focus on Congress and on President Obama’s interactions with Congress, where the epithet is mostly deserved. If you look beyond the white marble dome to the federal agencies, there is lots of action on energy efficiency.
Efforts to reduce energy consumption in the transport of goods often run up against the demand for speed, convenience, flexibility, and security. Send a shipment by energy-intensive air or truck if it is valuable or time-sensitive – rail or water will do if it’s not. The fundamental tension in moving goods today is between individualized treatment for each shipment and the efficiency of the system as a whole. But information and communications technologies (ICT) are increasingly offering ways to avoid that tradeoff.