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Incorporating trailers into U.S. heavy-duty truck efficiency rule

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A pair of studies released  by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) summarize issues connected with integrating trailers into the Obama Administration’s Phase 2 regulatory program, offer detailed recommendations for addressing those issues and report results of an industry survey on current technology costs and adoption rates in the North American on-road freight sector.

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According to the studies, incorporating trailers into the overall heavy-duty vehicle program would promote a set of presently available aerodynamic, tire and light-weighting technologies to increase overall tractor-trailer efficiency.

The ICCT’s analysis encompasses a wide spectrum of technical and regulatory considerations, from classification frameworks to testing procedures and certification metrics. “Our recommendations are a natural extension of the policy principles underlying the EPA’s SmartWay program and the California tractor-trailer greenhouse gas regulation, which have both been very successful,” said Ben Sharpe, a senior researcher with the ICCT and lead author on both papers.

In 2013, the ICCT collaborated with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency on a survey-based study of costs and adoption rates of fuel-saving trailer technologies. The survey captured a diverse cross-section of opinion in the trucking industry, with the aim of understanding how the market for efficiency technologies has evolved and identifying realistic opportunities for capturing additional efficiencies. “There’s a lot of evidence of a maturing market for trailer fuel-saving technologies,” said Sharpe, “and evidence that market forces will continue to push trucking fleets and owner-operators toward those technologies.”

Download the papers, “Recommendations for regulatory design, testing, and certification for integrating trailers into the Phase 2 U.S. heavy-duty vehicle fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas regulation,” and “Costs and adoption rates of fuel-saving technologies for trailers in the North American on-road freight sector.”

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