I am very excited about the results of our latest Fleet Fuel Study. With data from the first full year with low diesel prices — $2.71 compared to $3.89 — the fleets in our study saw a 3% fuel economy improvement in 2015 compared to 2014. This is a big win because it means that they understand the importance of investing in the more than 70 technologies we have identified even if low fuel prices make payback periods longer. In the end, they realize that regardless of price, fuel is still one of their biggest expenses.
Here are some other findings from the 17 fleets that operate more than 62,000 tractors and 217,00 trailers:
- In total they saved $501 million in fuel costs when compared to the 2015 national average fuel spend for the 1.7 million Class 8 over-the-road trucks.
- Fleet-wide mpg went from 6.87 to 7.06 for the fleets in our study.
- Their new trucks are on-average 16% more efficient than the models they replaced given that the typical trade cycle for these fleets is five years.
- The fuel savings between the business-as-usual 6.30 MPG and the NACFE fleets average of 7.06 MPG amounts to $4,653 per year per truck, at the $2.71 per gallon fuel cost over the average tractor mileage of 99,958.
- Our fleets are saving $8,075 over the national average of 5.83 MPG.
One interesting thing is that the 17 fleets varied in the choice of technologies they invested in. Clearly there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to improving fuel efficiency.
While these 17 fleets are doing a great job, there is still much work to be done by many of the other fleets in operation today. The new Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 standards will probably push some of the fuel saving technologies into the spotlight, but fleets that are not currently making investments in reducing their fuel consumption are going to fall farther behind the fleets that recognize that regardless of price, fuel still represents a very big expense.
Seems to me that it makes sense to do what you can to make sure you get the most miles out of every gallon.