This week marked success in national efforts to increase sustainable technology adoption across the board via autonomous truck technology, zero NOx, increased fuel efficiency, and RNG. Changes to the global crude oil market, a marked decrease in cargo thefts, and a new B20 biodiesel standard dominate the fuel market newsstands this week.
States Adopting Clean Diesel Technology Boost National Efficiency Average
Advanced emissions control systems and clean diesel engines are transforming the transportation industry. A few states excel in the adoption of environmentally-friendly technology within their commercial trucking fleets. The national average of commercial trucks equipped with the most recent generation of clean diesel technology rose to 30 percent this year—a nearly five percent increase since 2016. Indiana, Utah, and Oklahoma lead as states with the highest instance of clean diesel implementation while Pennsylvania shows significant gains in the last five years. Over 40 percent of these states’ commercial trucks are equipped with the most efficient industry technology.
Implementation of clean diesel technology foreshadows the US transition to a new era of diesel technology that equates to increased MPG, fuel savings, and lower GHG emissions.
Outcomes resulting from the collaboration among the nation’s leading engine and truck manufacturers—through the DOE’s “SuperTruck” program—sparked interest among state-level trucking fleets who are driving demand for technological advancements and inciting measurable changes on the ground.
Nevada and California Possible Areas to Test Autonomous Truck Technology
The dimensional bulk of batteries necessary to sustain long-haul movements is a consistent hurdle for electric truck manufacturers. To combat this constraint, Tesla is considering the idea of selling their electric truck without a battery, and then instituting a battery-leasing program to reduce battery weight, recharge time, and lower the initial investment of the Tesla semi since batteries are the primary cost driver. Under this leasing program, the Tesla semi could travel between 200-300 miles on one battery, and then have a charged battery installed at a participating swapping station within minutes.
Tesla is not only serious about its electric truck – expected to be previewed in September– but it’s also serious about replacing drivers. According to an internal email obtained by Reuters, Tesla has spoken with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles about testing autonomous electric trucks with no driver in the cab on Nevada roadways. With the goal of operating prototypes in a continuous fashion between Nevada and California—in both platooning and autonomous modes—Tesla is eager to add to their innovative portfolio.
In Other News
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has announced that the state will implement a new biodiesel standard next spring, as Minnesota moves to a 20% biodiesel blend (B20) at pumps across the state.
South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy is buying its first-ever continental U.S. crude oil shipment as producer club OPEC’s output cuts raise MidEast prices, giving other suppliers a chance to compete for the world’s juiciest oil market – Asia.
Boeing Co. and NASA have found an inexpensive way to cut airline fuel bills by borrowing a trick from the world’s greatest long-distance aviators: migratory birds. By lining up cruising aircraft in a V-shaped formation favored by Canada geese, carriers would be able to produce a leap in efficiency without investing in structural makeovers or futuristic technology.
Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd. And Toyota Motor Corp. have concluded a basic agreement for studies on energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction in convenience store distribution and operation.
Introduction of new clean diesel truck engines and emissions control systems into Pennsylvania’s trucking fleet over the last five years is now at a 35% level, according to new research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum.
The Cummins-Westport 8.9-liter ISL G Near Zero NOx engine offers quieter and cleaner performance with power that’s comparable to a conventional diesel.
The Cummins-Westport 8.9-liter compressed natural gas engine, while rated at 320 horsepower and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque, delivers emissions that are 90 percent lower than the current EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) NOx limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr, and also meet the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requirements, according to Cummins Westport.
The number of cargo thefts in 2017’s second quarter was down from the first quarter of the year, while the value of cargo thefts was up, according to cargo theft recording firm SensiGuard.
Driver-assist technology that keeps cars in their lanes, maintains a safe distance from other vehicles, warns of unseen traffic and slams the brakes to avoid rear-end crashes are rapidly spreading from luxury cars to everyday Hondas, Nissans and Chevys. But these automated aids aimed at improving safety are having an unintended consequence: They’re degrading driving skills.
AMP Americas, a renewable natural gas (RNG) producer and marketer and compressed natural gas fuel and infrastructure operator for the heavy-duty, commercial trucking industry, has announced a $47 million equity commitment from Houston-based EIV Capital, a private-equity firm focused on the energy industry.