Saving Fuel, Cleaning the Air—Who’s Doing What

May 23, 2008
The transportation industry is taking measures to do what they can to cut down on consumption and emissions.

It’s one thing to bemoan constantly increasing costs for fuel; it’s another to take those steps within a company’s power to do something about them. Although it has taken a number of measures by improving its equipment and training of drivers, Schneider National is voluntarily slowing its fleet’s speed to 60 mph. As the truckload carrier notes, the slowing of top speed by three miles per hour will reduce the fleet’s annual diesel fuel consumption by 3.75 million gallons. Additionally, it will reduce truck CO2 emissions by 83.25 million lbs per year, the equivalent of taking 7,259 automobiles off the road.

Across the world, TNT is incorporating new electric and hybrid trucks for use in its fleets. Over the next 18 months the mail and express package delivery company will replace diesel trucks in the UK with 100 7.5-ton battery-powered “Newton” units. Annual reductions of 1.299 million kilograms of CO2 emissions are expected. In Australia, the carrier’s 10 new Hino hybrid trucks will reduce CO2 emissions by 1,600 kilograms per vehicle annually.

Con-way Truckload has reduced the maximum governed speed of its 2,700-tractor fleet from 70 to 65 mph. The carrier expects to reduce its annual consumption of diesel fuel by 2.8 million gallons and lower yearly CO2 emissions by 62 million lbs. Con-way Truckload claims the savings to represent the equivalent of taking 6,300 passenger cars off the nation’s roads.

UPS has placed an order from 200 Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) which it claims is the largest commercial order of such trucks by any company. These are in addition to 300 vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for use in its US delivery fleet.

The HEV trucks will join 50 already in service. Anticipation is that the 200 trucks will save 176,000 gallons of fuel each year, reducing annual CO2 emissions by 1,786 metric tons. UPS says the new vehicles represent a removal of 100 of its conventional trucks from the road. The CNG vehicles will join 800 now being used later this year.

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