Tag Archives: tractor trailer fuel efficiency

New Efficiency Standards Ordered for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Photo Credit: static bob via Compfight cc

As part of an ongoing efficiency and conservation effort, President Obama announced this week that his administration will set higher fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016, a move that could reduce dependence on foreign oil, cut fuel costs, and lower consumer prices.

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Vecarius: Taking the Heat…and Using It

Vecarius’s thermoelectric generator system improves the energy efficiency of vehicles ranging from light-duty vehicles produced by vehicle manufacturers to heavy-duty vehicles used by vehicle owners and operators of vehicle fleets. Photo Credit: RyanP77 via Compfight cc

Our global oil system is operating at near capacity—97 percent—which just isn’t sustainable. Because 70% of oil consumption in the U.S. is used for ground transportation, reducing the amount of gas used by vehicles is key to heading off an impending crisis. Boston-based Vecarius, which recently won the 2013 Sustainable America/Greentown Labs Fellowship, is working to tackle this problem by turning vehicles’ exhaust waste heat into energy, technology that can reduce fuel usage in vehicles by 5 to 10 percent. We talked to CEO Steven Casey to learn more about his innovative product.

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Super Trucks

Image via Cummins.com

Cummins Inc. and Peterbuilt Motors recently announced the impressive results of the test of their “SuperTruck,” a tractor-trailer designed to cut fuel usage by half through aerodynamics and a higher-efficiency engine. Under real-world driving conditions, the SuperTruck’s fuel economy was found to be 54 percent higher than a regular long-haul truck, averaging nearly 10 miles per gallon (mpg).

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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