High efficiency trucks : new revenues, new jobs, and improved fuel economy in the medium and heavy truck fleet.
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High efficiency trucks : new revenues, new jobs, and improved fuel economy in the medium and heavy truck fleet.

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    • Abstract:
      The move to high efficiency trucks can lead to new revenues and jobs for companies involved in the development and marketing of the technologies needed to make this transition. But in order for the medium and heavy truck industry to make this transition, there will be a number of barriers to overcome. This study, funded by CALSTART, examines these challenges, estimates the potential revenues and jobs that may be created, and discusses the policy options available to government.

      The basis for this analysis is a survey of the manufacturers and suppliers that make up the medium/heavy truck industry. We divided potential new technologies into three groups, aerodynamics, hybrid/electric, and other powertrain technologies supplied from a previous analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). There are significant differences in the cost and sophistication of the technologies within as well as among these groups. Our analysis is based on the responses of 31 companies (from an original 90) that are either marketing or developing 52 of the new technologies.

      Two of the three challenges to introducing these new technologies, as reported by the executives who participated in the survey, focus on building the business case for the trucking industry to introduce the new technologies and ensuring customer acceptance of the technologies. The other major challenge is the technology challenges that still exist for some of the new technologies. These are significant challenges because the medium/heavy trucking industry, which runs on narrow margins, makes technology decisions based not on emotion but on business economics.

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