Published on July 21st, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro32
By 2035, 1 in 7 Trucks Will Use Alternative Fuels
July 21st, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
While the race is on to build the next generation of clean consumer cars,efforts to reduce the emissions and improve the fuel economy of commercial trucks is starting to heat up as well. According to Navigant Research (via Autoblog Green), 1 in 7 commercial vehicles will be alt-fuel powered by 2035. But is that good enough?
The big winners are expected to be natural gas and plug-in hybrid vehicles, though diesel vehicles will still account for about 3 out of every 4 commercial vehicles on the road. But even the standard diesel trucks are making huge gains towards better fuel economy as private companies like WalMart seek ways to reduce transportation and fuel expenses with purpose-built hybrid trucks like the WAVE. Over the lifetime of a semi-truck, using CNG fuel can save as much as $150,000 per vehicle. WalMart employs some 6,000 trucks alone; now multiply those savings, and suddenly you’re looking at the next massive bonus for corporate executives!
Seriously though, it’s important to note that even a 1 MPG improvement in the fuel economy of a big rig can lead to massive cost and emissions reductions, which is why even the government is pushing for more stringent efficiency standards and improvements. With just small aerodynamic enhancements, the “SuperTruck” was able to achieve a 54% increase in fuel economy, which would mean millions of gallons of fuel saved annually. Still, I think this study is a bit pessimistic, and also ignores the possibility of a game-changing innovation or scenario (such as prohibitively-high fuel prices or a battery breakthrough).
What fuel do you think will dominate the trucking industry in the next two decades?
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