Last January, I wrote a blog in this very space outlining resolutions for 2022 at NACFE. I figured I owed you all a reckoning of how we did with our promises. I can’t give us an A+, but I think we did a darn good job in delivering to the industry the things we promised.
One of the things we are most proud of is the work we did publishing four market segment reports followingRun on Less – Electric. Going into the Run, we knew that battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) were not right for all segments of the trucking industry. However, through the Run we learned that for many applications, BEVs are a very good fit. I am also proud of the fact that we did not sugarcoat the challenges of integrating BEVs into a fleet. NACFE prides itself on being objective, and while we believe BEVs are the best zero-emission choice for these segments, we know the transition will not be easy and that for at least the next several decades, we will see a myriad of powertrain options in use.
See also: Rising to the charging challenge
Another big win was the revival of theAnnual Fleet Fuel Study (AFFS). We took a three-year break from the AFFS, mostly because of COVID, but also so we could do some serious revamping of not only the way we collected data but also the way we presented the data to the industry. I believe the interactivebenchmarking tool is going to be a great asset for fleets because it allows them to use their own data and learn which fuel efficiency technologies make sense for them given their unique operating condition.
In conjunction with the AFFS, we also did a major revamp of our website to tie the AFFS more closely to the Confidence Reports on existing technology. The whole process took more time and more resources than we initially thought, and some other projects got put on the back burner, but we think the results are well worth the effort we expended.
We also said we would continue our work on autonomous trucking, and we have. To date, we have published 43 blogs on various aspects of AVs. Developments are coming fast and furious in that arena, and we are trying to provide some insights into this technology. In fact, we are considering whether the time is right to write a report on AVs, even knowing that things are changing rapidly. We’ll keep you posted on what we decide.
I am not going to make any big promises for 2023 except for the ones that you already know about, including the fact that we are conducting Run on Less – Electric DEPOT this fall and that we are reviving the Electric Truck Bootcamp.
I also promise that not all of our efforts are going to focus solely on EVs. We know this is a time of transition with lots of options for fleets, and we plan to be in the middle of things sharing our thoughts and opinions, which are always based on in-depth research and/or real-world data analytics. Look for a report from us soon on the “Messy Middle” of decarbonizing freight movement.
Thanks for being with us last year, and we look forward to interacting with you this year at the various industry events we will either be speaking at or attending. Oh, I almost forgot, as I wanted to share how many events we led or presented at last year. The number is 116—that’s more than two per week!
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.