Last week was a big week to be involved in trucking efficiency. Really it was a great week to be in trucking. It feels weird to say that, since one of the big announcements was about more regulations and historically trucking and regulations have not always meshed well.
However, one of the good things about the new Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 regulation is that it did not dictate how the standards have to be met. Instead of dictating a solution, GHG2 is giving manufacturers the liberty to choose their own blend of technologies to meet the regs. A lot of currently available technology — lightweighting, tire inflation systems, aerodynamic devices, as well as many others — will be leveraged to meet the new standards.
Another good thing about the regs is that the implementation is staggered starting in 2018 and running through 2027. This time frame should give OEMs and component suppliers plenty of time to develop and test technologies to ensure they are reliable and cost effective. There shouldn’t be a need to rush technology to the market hoping they will work under real operating conditions.
I was especially pleased to see such early support for the new regs from some key industry participants, many of whom remarked that they believe they are poised to develop the products necessary to reach the limits set by the regs.
The other big news was the Energy Department’s announcement of its investment in SuperTruck II. Cummins, Daimler Trucks North America, Navistar Inc. and Volvo Technology of America LLC have all stepped up to match the $20 million in federal funding for projects to develop technologies that will double the efficiency of Class 8 trucks.
We at NACFE along with our partners Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute couldn’t be happier with all of this focus on helping trucks get more ton-miles to the gallon. It validates the work we have been doing over the last several years and shows us that our efforts are making a difference.
We are excited to be in the thick of moving the needle on MPGs, starting later this week, with our release of the 5th Annual Fleet Fuel Study. And we plan to continue to encourage manufacturers and suppliers to develop technology that is practical and affordable in real-world use and to push more fleets to begin to adopt some of the technologies that the manufacturers and suppliers are working so hard to make available.
It’s a great time to be preaching the fleet efficiency gospel and we look forward to being a part of a future where trucks easily and regularly get 12 miles out of a gallon of diesel.