GHG Phase 2: The OEMs have stepped up

While the truck makers are keeping their some of their plans quiet about the technologies they plan to deploy to meet the anticipated Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 emissions standards, they are not just sitting idly by.

In a review of new Class 8 model trucks in the recent issue of Fleet Owner, the OEMs shared some changes they are making NOW to make their trucks more fuel efficient.

If you have not read the article here is brief recap of some of the changes coming for 2017 models:

  • International said it is “systematically taking weight out” of its platforms.  Our Confidence Report on lightweighting found that for every 1,000 lbs. of weight reduction there is a 0.5% to 0.6% fuel economy savings.
  • Kenworth is making its AeroAdvantage Fairing available as a factory-installed option for its T680 Advantage highway models with 76-in mid-roof sleepers. It is also expanding its auto/start stop system. In addition to preventing fuel gelling, systems like this also reduce idling by turning the main engine on and off as required for heating and cooling while the driver is resting. Automatic engine start/stop systems are one of the technologies we studied in our Confidence Report on idle reduction.
  • Mack is changing compression ratios on its engines to allow for more complete combustion and is offering a two-speed cooling pump. Combined the company said those things will increase fuel economy on its MP7 engine by 5.1% and on its MP8 engine by 5%. For its downspeeding tractor option Mack will offer the MP8 engine with a turbo compounding system that “converts waste energy from the exhaust to mechanical energy that is fed back to the engine.” The result is a fuel efficiency increase of 8.8%
  • Volvo says it has retooled D11 engine offers a 2.2% fuel economy improvement over 2014 model. In the middle of 2017 Volvo will introduce an engine with turbo compounding and waste heat recovery.
  • Daimler is focusing on its vocational truck offerings bringing electronically controlled transmissions to its 122SD models that “automatically and smoothly make the right shift at the right time.”
  • And these are just a few examples that caught my eye.

Many of the OEMs talked about their offering electronically controlled transmission choices which not only save fuel, according to our Confidence Report, but also aids with driver recruitment and retention and improve safety.

As you can see there is a lot of development already under way to make trucks more efficient even before GHG Phase regulations come into effect. From where I sit, the truck makers are doing a great job of keeping the trucking industry on the path toward wringing more miles out of every gallon of diesel fuel. Now it’s up to fleets to take advantage of these options and for OEMs to continue to work to bring the prices down so they are affordable to fleets of all sizes. And I don’t need the findings of a Confidence Report to tell me that of those goals are achievable.

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