The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) is calling for wider sharing of fuel economy test data within the trucking industry to drive greater and faster advances in fuel savings.
As reported by Fleet Owner, the organization recently released a “confidence report” that highlights six insights to foster broader industry fuel gains.
Despite recent decreases in fuel prices, fuel costs have generally risen swiftly over the past decade and all indications are that fuel price volatility will continue, “forcing the industry to find solutions that increase its fuel efficiency in order to stay profitable,” NACFE said in its Determining Efficiency report.
“Our recommendation is that a lot of data exists and steering of it is needed,” Mike Roeth, NACFE’S executive director, explained in a conference call with reporters. “We don’t need a lot more testing; what we need is a lot more sharing of what testing has been done.”
A lot of challenges of doing that surrounds the variances in testing methods, how to extrapolate data from those tests, the existence of sometimes “old” data, which component is attribute with specific fuel mileage gains, and so on, he said.
“With more data sharing, the industry will have more confidence and be likely to pursue specific technologies,” Roeth noted. “The challenge is that there is no one place for fleet to go get an answer. So we’re trying to consolidate that information into a place where people have confidence in the reporting.”
He added that the goal here is trying to learn from testing conducted by “early-adopting” fleets as well as from truck and trailer manufacturers.
“We want to help bring this information, since it is of higher quality and more understandable, to the masses in the industry,” Roeth said. “Most importantly, we need to look at multiple methods to seek trends. Don’t fall in love with a single test – one test is one test.”
NACFE believes that multiple tests allow the industry to better illuminate trends. “Multiple data sets [will generate] the most confidence where payback can be found,” he emphasized.
To that end, the group emphasized that gaining a more “comprehensive overview” of the fuel and freight efficiency measurement and estimation methods used within the trucking industry, and broadly sharing the results of those tests, will allow fleets to make better investment decisions, no matter the technology they are considering.
NACFE’s report offers six “insights” that could foster more cooperative use of test results and thus broader fuel economy gains:
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