Alternative Truck Fuels to Replace a Dwindling Resource

Posted : 12/27/12 6:34 AM

Trucks carry over two thirds of all of the freight that is transported across America and in doing so they consume almost 70% of all of the energy that is consumed1 for our total transport needs. Fuel is the single largest operating expense for trucks and a single commercial truck can consume as much as 20,000 gallons of diesel per year costing around $70,0002. This is a huge amount of resources especially in an environment where fuel is becoming more expensive as the reserves become increasingly depleted. With an estimated 750,000 interstate motor carriers in the US, finding ways to reduce fuel costs has become an important issue. Late in 2011 President Obama introduced legislation that sets the goal of improving fuel economy in trucks by as much as 20% by 2018. Commercial trucks use around 22 billion gallons of diesel in a year and experts are suggesting that that volume could be cut significantly. While finding more efficient ways to use existing diesel fuels is a significant step forward there are also a number of other initiatives for finding alternative truck fuels currently underway. A long term project in California involving the supermarket chain Raley’s3 has been studying the viability of using LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) in comparison to the use of standard diesel engines. After sorting out some initial difficulties with the introduction of the new fuel and through improvements in the technology of the motors this project has developed a great deal of promise that LNG may help to take the burden off of oil based fuels. As America currently importing 57% of the oil that it uses4 this could have an important impact on the economy as a whole. There are currently several other studies going on to examine the potential of bio fuels such as bioalcohols and biodiesel which are made from renewable resources like soyabeans or corn. While schemes for recycling old cooking oil into biodiesel will never completely supply our energy needs they can have a significant impact on reducing our reliance on imported oil while also having a positive influence on the environment generally. These new alternative fuels are often also more cost effective than existing oil based fuels and while transition costs may be a factor in the implementation of alternative fuels the savings can often offset this very quickly. To learn more about more efficient and environmentally aware options for your freight transport contact . References: 1. 2. 3. 4.