Aluminum helps future fuel economy, aluminum is very ‘green’ in today-speak because it is strong, yet lightweight, and yields easily to most modern fabrication methods. (it can be cast, extruded, welded and quite easily drilled and bolted). I went to this webinar ‘Meeting Future Fuel Economy Standards’ ,Wednesday, November 17, 2010 9:00AM PST. Put on by Aluminum association Transportation Group (ATG). And while many find it boring to look at sheer statistics, there are interesting ones presented here. Savings in aluminum engineering on the class 8 equipment studied at Ricardo yields 1,612 gallons per unit on average which amounts to one Billion gallons saved each year by our current US fleet resulting in 10 Million less tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere (so less trees don’t have to work so hard to oxygenate it!).https://www.ricardo.com/de/What-we-do/Technical-Consulting/Testing/
Mr Harry Siegel opened up this seminar as the business development director of the ATG, graphs displayed indicate America’s need for improvement in the energy usage area. Among the many reasons to decide to manage well our energy use is the marked increase in the volume of freight facing us. More freight activity and energy management are going into the future side by side. But while technology can help us in one area, the example given of emission technology; particle scrubbers, hurts us in the weight category by 850lbs equating to a -8% on fuel economy. With some approaches designed to cut emissions and others to save on weight or wind resistance, there are bound to be conflicting methods, ideally we are designing the one with repect to the many, here’s why:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-regarding-fuel-efficiency-standardsWASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation in October 2010 announced the first national standards to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. This comprehensive national program is projected to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years.
Setting fuel consumption standards for the heavy duty sector will improve our energy security by reducing our dependance on foreign oil as a matter of national security. According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), transportation accounts for about 72% of our domestic oil usage, whereas heavy duty trucks account for about 17% of transportation use.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is completely sold on the ‘flat earth’ theory of GHG (green house gasses), this may seem to some like living with a pet raccoon, but goes hand in hand, (or at least washes it’s hands while eating), with our energy objectives of environmental responsibility, national security, if not economic security concerns.
Realistic targets of fuel reduction by the NHTSA are between 10 and 20 percent( the presidential memo above says as much as 25%) http://www.nhtsa.gov/PR/DOT-189-10 and expect improvement to be cumulative from 4 main categories; Vehicle design GVW , Aerodynamics , Rolling resistance , Powertrain.
Proposed metrics account for the fact that the work to move heavier loads burns more fuel, and emits more CO2 than in moving lighter loads. The aluminum industry has offered a weight saving retrofit on class 8 equipment that has been tested and found to net and average on the order of 6.5%, that is for fuel economy or 6.5% fewer trips made resulting in less emissions. See this visual:
Additionally, the aluminum industry has worked successfully to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions through voluntary initiatives and continuous technological advances. In the past ten years, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 10 percent and PFCs emissions, when compared to 1990-levels, have been reduced by more than 80 percent. When asked which trailer manufacturers are entertaining enhanced aluminum engineering in their portfolios, it was noted that many current trailers are hybrids – or mixes of materials, but some exciting new changes are given incentives to move forward in the area of energy conservation.