Why be energy efficient?
Fuel is typically the highest operating cost for road transport operators, followed by wages, then tyres. The sector operates in a very competitive business environment1 so small improvements in fuel efficiency or changes in fuel costs can have a significant impact on profit and competitiveness. There are numerous opportunities for the road transport sector to improve energy efficiency through upgrading fleets, and adopting better corporate, driver and fuel-consumption practices.
Combining best practices can lead to fuel savings ranging from 10% to 30%2
Three strategies cover most of the energy efficiency opportunities available for the road transport sector.
- Transport Energy Futures Program 2013
- US Department of Energy
The US Department of Energy’s Transport Energy Futures (TEF) program examines how combining multiple strategies could reduce both GHG emissions and diesel use by 80%. The project breaks down transport knowledge into four areas: light duty transport, non-light duty, fuels, and demand and covers everything from transport technologies to the broader marketplace, consumer behaviour, innovation and industry capacity.
- Green Truck Partnership 2012
- NSW Roads and Maritime Services
The Green Truck Partnership is an alliance between NSW Roads and Maritime Services and the road transport industry. The Green Truck Partnership commissions independent testing of products that claim to improve the environmental performance on heavy vehicles and publishes the results.
Recent tests conducted through the program have focussed on biodiesel, lift trailer axles, CNG, LNG and automatic gearbox technology. Case studies on the findings of these tests are available on the Green Truck Partnership website. They can also be found on the Resources – Road Transport page on the EEX website.
- Fuel for Thought - Potential energy efficiency opportunities in the Australian road and rail sectors 2011
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
This report catalogues potential opportunities for energy efficiency improvements in the Australian road transport (heavy duty vehicles only) and rail transport sectors. It is designed to supplement energy efficiency assessments undertaken by transport operators involved in the EEO program. The report was developed by Rare Consulting for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
- SmartWay Freight Transport Publications 2011
- US Environmental Protection Authority
SmartWay is the US Environmental Protection Agency’s flagship program for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases from the transportation supply chain industry. The website includes a range of fact sheets and case studies on the application of fuel efficiency opportunities in the United States.
- Truck Buyers Guide 2011
- Department of Infrastructure and Transport
The Truck Buyers Guide is a joint Victorian, NSW and Australian Government initiative to promote the uptake of low-emission small trucks.
- Significant Opportunities Register – Transport 2012 (Opens in a new window)
This register records significant opportunities which have been identified by transport companies registered with the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program. Companies involved in the program must publicly report every year on the number of cost effective opportunities they have identified with a four year payback or less. This reporting includes providing descriptions of three significant opportunities which have been identified as part of their energy efficiency assessments.
- Energy Efficiency and Alternative Transport Fuels - Trucking 2007 (Opens in a new window)
- The Natural Edge Project, CSIRO and Griffith University
- PDF 1.2 MB
This lecture module (8.3), developed as part of the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship has an engineering focus and outlines energy efficiency opportunities and emissions reductions approaches for the trucking sector.
Footnotes ~ Show 2 footnotes
- Rare Consulting (2011) Fuel for Thought – Identifying potential energy efficiency opportunities in the Australian road and rail sectors ↩
- See Footnote 1 ↩