Fleets continue to adopt technologies that help save fuel

Sept. 6, 2018
The overall fleet-wide fuel economy for these trucks was 7.28 MPG — up from 7.14 MPG in 2016 and better than the national average of 5.91 MPG.

One piece of good news is that manufacturers have accelerated the delivery of technologies. They are delivering more advanced generations of existing technologies to quicken the payback and mitigate the challenges of adoption. Other advancements come both as novel technologies that provide the same function in a different way and new technologies that address areas not considered in the past. Fleets can’t buy technologies that aren’t available and we applaud manufacturers for continuing to develop products that address fuel efficiency and we encourage them to keep doing so.

More good news is that fleets are adopting more of those fuel efficiency technologies and as a result are seeing significant savings.

We recently released our 2018 Annual Fleet Fuel Study, the seventh one we have completed. Time flies by!  In this year’s study, we looked at the adoption rate of 85 technologies — all of which are currently available in the market and are not prototypes or pre-production units.

The overall adoption rate for the technologies studied in this report has grown from 17% in 2003 to 44% in 2017. It is important to note that no fleet could adopt all 85 technologies on a single tractor-trailer combination, as some are “competing” solutions for a single function. For instance, a truck would not have both a diesel auxiliary power unit and a battery heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

The overall fleet-wide fuel economy for these trucks was 7.28 MPG — up from 7.14 MPG in 2016 and better than the national average of 5.91 MPG. The 20 fleets operating 71,844 trucks saved $636,791,023 in 2017 compared to the average trucks on the road. That’s a lot of money!  If you are reading this, I am sure there is something in this report that can help you, whether you are a fleet, a manufacturer or a supporter of improving freight efficiency.

The fleets in our study ranged from big to small and are proof that investing in fuel efficiency technologies results in big savings. We hope the data they shared with us and their experiences will encourage more fleets of all sizes to make these investments, so we can see the national average rise to the 7.28 MPG these fuel economy minded fleets achieved.

But if truth be told I ‘d like to see everyone get closer to that 10.1 MPG mark of our Run on Less by NACFE fleets. I really think we can get there.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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