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The North American trucking industry has the opportunity to save $40 billion per year on fuel and reduce CO2 and other pollutants by 20 percent.

Mission

To double the fuel efficiency of North American goods movement by 2016 through the elimination of market barriers to information and financing.

To advance this mission, Trucking Efficiency is focusing on solutions to five key barriers to the adoption of fuel-saving technologies in the on-road trucking sector:

  • Payback time and high initial cost of trucks
  • Lack of access to capital
  • Lack of access to capital to cover upfront costs
  • Perception of efficiency technologies as insufficiently reliable
  • Unavailability of technology

For more on the selection of these five barriers, please visit the Background tab.

WHY FREIGHT EFFICIENCY

Road freight, or the commercial operation of road vehicles, produces 1.6 billion metric tons of CO2e per year, making the sector responsible for 5.75% of total worldwide GHGs. The industry also has a sizable fuel bill, which is only growing alongside fuel prices. With trucking predicted to grow by 2% or more each year, emissions reductions in this sector are critical to meeting key climate stabilization targets and supporting the industry’s profit margins.

Within road freight, Trucking Efficiency focuses on the Class 8 tractor-trailer fleet because they have the potential to benefit most from efficiency technologies due to their mileage and tonnage hauled. The adoption of five physical technologies and two information and communication technologies (ICT)-based efficiency solutions by the Class 8 commercial vehicle fleet in the United States will prevent the emission of 624 million tons of CO2e by 2022 under predicted industry growth rates. This suite of seven technologies represents average fuel savings of $13,000 per truck, with a payback period of just 24 months. The US is a key location for such savings, as the operation of heavy-duty vehicles consumed 50 billion gallons of fuel in 2010.

TESTING: 6X2 AXLES CONFIDENCE REPORT

BACKGROUND

THE SITUATION

Globally, the trucking sector produces 1.6 billion metric tons of CO2 per year, making the sector responsible for 5.75% of total greenhouse gas emissions – and meaning it suffers a sizable fuel bill. Heavy-duty vehicles in the United States alone consumed 50 billion gallons of fuel in 2013. With trucking predicted to grow by 2% or more each year, improving the fuel efficiency of this industry is critical to meeting our climate stabilization target and supporting the industry’s profit margins.

Given the rapid growth in diesel fuel prices over the past decade, the trucking industry is spending a huge portion of its capital on fuel. Fortunately, numerous technologies show strong potential for achieving cost-effective gains in fuel efficiency for Class 8 trucks and are available on the market today.

In spite of the available cost savings and emission reductions, these technologies are not yet being broadly adopted by the North American Class 8 trucking industry.

Operation Trucking Efficiency—a combined effort of the Carbon War Room and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE)—has identified several market barriers responsible for this lack of adoption:

  • Lack of credible information on the performance of these technologies
  • Lack of credible data on payback times for these technologies
  • Lack of access to capital to cover upfront costs
  • Perception of efficiency technologies as insufficiently reliable
  • Unavailability of these technologies from Original Equipment Manufacturers or other vendors

THE OPPORTUNITY

Working independently, the Carbon War Room and NACFE both performed research that found substantial barriers to the adoption of trucking efficiency technologies.

The Carbon War Room analyzed a specific subset of seven technologies and found that their adoption makes economic sense for fleets and truck owners, under current market and policy conditions. For example, if 100% of the Class 8 fleet in the US invested in a basic aerodynamic device by 2020 it would avoid 50 million tons of CO2, saving nearly $45,000 in fuel costs per truck and paying back the initial investment in just 14 months. Meanwhile, NACFE conducted extensive research with industry stakeholders on barriers to technology adoption, and developed an Annual Fleet Fuel Benchmark report, which it continues to produce.

Having reached similar conclusions in their assessments of the opportunities for fuel to launch Operation Trucking Efficiency.

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

We will be collaborating with industry experts to address the barriers to large-scale deployment of efficiency technologies and encourage acceptance of these technologies. To support this work, we are working on a series of Confidence Reports and workshops.

The series of Confidence Reports will share recommendations and best practices related to trucking efficiency technologies. The first two available in our series are a confidence report by NACFE on tire pressure and a report on 6x2 axles, which will be closely followed by one on idle reduction strategies.

CONFIDENCE REPORTS

  1. Tire Pressure Systems – August 2013
  2. 6x2 Axle Tractor Configurations – January 2014
  3. Idle Reduction Strategies – Coming soon
  4. Automated Transmissions – Coming soon

WORKSHOPS

Our workshop series provides industry leaders with the opportunity to learn more about available efficiency technologies and openly debate the benefits and challenges of adopting them. Our first workshops were held in Chicago and Long Beach, alongside the High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum and Alternative Clean Transportation Expo respectively. They focused on three technologies:

  • Tire Pressure Systems
  • 6x2 Axles
  • Idle Reduction

After hearing an overview of each technology, attendees participated in small discussions to brainstorm actions to harness the benefits and limit any challenges to each technology. The workshop was complemented by exhibits of available technologies with manufacturers on-hand for any questions.

For future workshops, please visit the event page.

COLLABORATION WITH TRUCKING EFFICIENCY

The operation needs your support and requests your involvement. Thank you for considering any of the following:

  • Supply data and/or materials to a Study Team
  • Become part of a Study Team itself. This will only be available to individuals withou a direct connection
    to any of the solutions under study
  • Sponsor the operation and/or the development of an information platform
  • Donate funds to become an official Sponsor of a project

For more information on collaborating with Trucking Efficiency, please contact Operation Lead Mike Roeth at
mroeth@carbonwarroom.com.

OPERATION PARTNERS

Trucking Efficiency is a combined effort of the Carbon War Room and North American Council for Freight Efficiency to double the freight efficiency of North American goods movement by 2016 through the elimination of market barriers to information, demand, and supply.

NORTH AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR FREIGHT EFFICIENCY

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doubling the freight efficiency of North American goods movement. NACFE operates as a nonprofit in order to provide an independent, unbiased research organization for the transformation of the transportation industry. Data is critical and NACFE is proving to help the industry with real world information for fleets and manufacturers to take action.

THE CARBON WAR ROOM

The Carbon War Room is a global nonprofit, founded by Sir Richard Branson and a team of like-minded entrepreneurs, that accelerates the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy. The organization focuses on solutions that can be realized using proven technologies under current policy landscapes.

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Carbon War Room in association with Elsevier Biofuel TechSelect Go to the Carbon War Room website