Fleets News

New EPA Standards A Big Win for Truckers

Posted: December 8, 2014
Source: JustMeans.com
By: RP Siegel in Energy

In 2010, heavy-duty trucks and buses accounted for 23% of all transportation-related greenhouse gases, even though they comprise less than 5% of all vehicles. In response to this, the Obama administration, in August of 2011, issued a directive, setting a new fuel efficiency targets for heavy duty trucks, starting in 2014 and extending through 2018.

With 2014 being the first year the new standards are in place, the results have been no less than remarkable. Since trucks are primarily used for commercial purposes, businesses are very interested in high efficiency since that contributes directly to their bottom line.

Sales of heavy trucks are soaring. October sales surpassed 22,000 units, the highest since 2006. Overall sales year to date have been running 20% higher than a year ago. Some of that is because buyers waited for the new models to come out. Fuel economy is a big reason why. While a typical tractor-trailer on the road today gets 5.8 mpg, those equipped with the latest engines get as much as 9 mpg. A new demonstration model SuperTruck, has been running up and down the highways, getting over 10 mpg under real world conditions. That’s an increase of 70% in fuel economy. Imagine what that can due to a trucker’s operating cost.

Transportation analyst John G. Larkin, said that “the superior fuel efficiency of the newer engines” was a key factor in the swelling sales. The fact that Daimler is already sold out of their most efficient drive trains for 2014, bears this out. Other manufacturers are having similar success stories. Big trucks today are the most efficient they’ve ever been.

This is all good news for truck makers and those that depend on them for their living. But what does it mean for the environment?

The new EPA standards, through 2018, are expected to:

  • reduce CO2 emissions by about 270 million metric tons,
  • save about 530 million barrels of oil,
  • provide $49 billion in net program benefits.

The regulations are a great example of smart policy that balances the need to maintain the environment, with the realities of the business world. While greeted with suspicion at the outset, the industry is now singing their praises. Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America referred to them as “very good examples of regulations that work well. We’re hoping for something similar with the next phase [post-2018] – challenging but good for everyone.”

There is another round of standards waiting to be rolled out, to cover the period through 2025. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is lobbying for an achievable but ambitious 40% increase in fuel economy. That would certainly have a big impact savings 1.4 million barrels of oil per day. It would also save your typical truck driver $30,000 a year in fuel costs, which would, of course trickle down to consumers.

Considering the technological tools already available including:

  • hybrid powertrains
  • direct injection technology
  • turbochargers
  • low friction lubricants
  • reduced idling practices
  • improved aerodynamics
  • reducing weight through lightweight materials
  • low resistance tires
  • use of auxiliary power units during breaks and overnights

it really shouldn’t be that big a stretch at all.


EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers

Posted: November 6, 2014

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.

In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.

“Automakers’ innovation is thriving, and Americans are benefiting from new consumer choices that limit carbon emissions and slow the effects of climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This year’s guide is not just about how the latest models compare with one another; it’s about providing people with an excellent tool so that they can make informed decisions affecting their pocketbooks and the planet.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s commitment to developing a transportation sector that minimizes harmful emissions and saves consumers’ money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This year’s guide provides the American people with user-friendly information for making the best decisions for their pocketbooks, while also helping create a more sustainable energy future.”

The guide provides “best-in-class” lists to help consumers find the most fuel-efficient advanced-technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The best-in-class lists include multiple market segments, from two-seaters to large pickup trucks.

Consumers will find a broad range of information that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle — including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for fuel prices. The online version of the guide, available through www.fueleconomy.gov, gives consumers a personalized fuel cost estimate based on local gasoline prices and their personal driving habits. The guide includes a greenhouse gas rating (from one to 10) for each model, giving consumers a quick way to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare fuel economy among vehicles. Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions, like air-conditioning use and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, weather, air-conditioning use, and extra weight being carried or towed.http://www.fueleconomy.gov

Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established national car program standards for model years 2012-2025. These standards are projected to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and reduce America’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day. So far, automakers’ overall greenhouse gas and fuel economy performance was, on average, ahead of what the standards require.

For tips on more fuel efficient driving, check out the gas mileage tips at http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml.

More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on fuel economy labels, are available at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ and at http://fueleconomy.gov/m/ for mobile devices. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2015 vehicles become available.


How Telematics Has Completely Revolutionized the Management of Fleet Vehicles

via Yahoo Finance

Telematics has revolutionized the management of fleet vehicles, reducing wear and tear and the amount of time it takes to roll up to a customer’s door. A glance at UPS shows how they do it better than anyone, and how you can streamline the operation of your own company vehicles.

If you want to understand the importance of telematics tracking software, consider that it helped UPS–the world’s largest private shipper and one of the largest fleet operators, with more than 100,000 vehicles logging 3 billion miles per year–cut its preventative maintenance schedule in half over the last five years.

That’s right: UPS went from 240,000 preventative maintenance inspections per year to 120,000. What’s especially impressive is that the company did this while increasing the reliability of its vehicles.

Director of automotive engineering Dale Spencer, who oversees the UPS fleet, explains…. READ MORE


New Report: U.S. Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High

Posted: October 8, 2014

Fuel economy gains for new vehicles continue under President Obama’s Clean Car Program

WASHINGTON – New vehicles achieved an all-time-high fuel economy in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon (mpg) ‑– a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years. The average carbon dioxide emissions are also at a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2014” report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States. The report also ranks automakers’ achievements in model year 2013.

Some additional top-line findings from the report:

  • The recent fuel economy improvement is a result of automakers’ rapid adoption of more efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.
  • Mazda vehicles averaged the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions
  • Nissan achieved the greatest improvement in average fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions over
  • SUVs achieved the greatest improvement in all classes of new personal vehicles.

“Today’s announcement points to the greatness of American ingenuity and the strength of our auto industry. Our report shows that today’s vehicles are saving Americans money at the pump while emitting fewer greenhouse gasses. We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Consumers now have many more choices when shopping for vehicles with higher fuel economy and lower emissions compared to just five years ago. These choices reflect both a more diverse range of technology packages on conventional gasoline vehicles as well as more advanced technology and alternative-fueled vehicles.”

Under President Obama’s leadership, EPA and the Department of Transportation have implemented standards projected to double fuel economy by 2025 and cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by half.

The EPA estimates these standards will save American families more than $8,000 in fuel costs per vehicle by 2025. Throughout the duration of the program, Americans will save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, use 12 billion fewer barrels of oil, and in 2025, reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day.

The new report is at: http://epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm


NV Energy Leading the EV Charge

Posted: September 8, 2014
Source: Energy Manager Today.com author: Karen Henry

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has released a report showing that NV Energy is a leader in the Southwest and the nation in promoting clean electric vehicle transportation.

Through its Shared Investment Program, NV Energy has facilitated the installation of nearly half the public electric vehicle charging stations in the state. Since 2009, the utility has offered a special electric vehicle billing rate that encourages people to charge their cars late at night, when demand is at its lowest and power plants typically are underutilized.

Customers in Northern Nevada, for example, who charge their cars between 10 pm and 6 am, pay 6.3 cents per kWh compared to the normal residential rate of 10.2 cents. In Southern Nevada, where electricity use spikes during the hot summer months, EV drivers who charge their cars between 10 pm and 6 am pay about 7 cents per kWh in summer and about 5 cents in winter compared to normal residential rates of 12 cents.

According to the report, “NV Energy: Leading the Way on Electric Vehicles,” electric vehicles are the cleanest transportation option in Nevada. About 66 percent of Nevada’s electricity was produced by natural gas in 2013. The remaining electricity generation comes from coal and renewable energy. Legislation passed in 2013 puts the utility on a path to retire 550 MW of coal-fired electricity generation in 2014 and another 250 MW by 2017, making Nevada a leader in the Southwest in moving away from coal and toward more renewable energy and clean-burning natural gas.

NV Energy developed its Shared Investment Program to improve range confidence and provided $500,000 to help fund new electric vehicle charging stations around the state. During 2013, the utility partnered with private and public sector entities to set up 133 individual charging ports at more than 47 locations statewide.

Employers who provide charging to their employees were also eligible to participate in the program. NV Energy offered partners up to $7,000 off the cost of a dual port charger, about half the cost.

The report comes as good news to NV Energy, which saw its energy-efficiency programs decline in 2013.


Are you driving the right car for an oil crisis?

Posted July 29, 2014
Source: Fuel Fix.com by Amy Myers Jaffe

With further escalation in hostilities in Iraq as the militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tries to lock down more oil and gas assets, it is hard not to worry that an oil crisis might be looming. Saudi Arabia has fortified its northern border with Iraq with more military hardware and troops while Iraqi oil industry sources report that Iranian forces were simultaneously moving into areas surrounding the Southern Iraqi oilfields, raising the stakes in a possible escalation in recent border skirmishes. At the same time, Moscow is doubling down in its support for rebel fighters in the Ukraine, intensifying its conflict with the West and increasingly the likelihood that energy trade with Russia will get disrupted.

So far, the looming global instability has not ratcheted up US gasoline prices which are generally hovering around $3.50 a gallon. But it might be a good time for American consumers to think about how well they would be positioned in an oil crisis.

The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis) can help you figure out the answer to that question with a new web-based tool, EV Explorer, that allows consumers to compare simultaneously up to four different vehicles on an energy cost basis.

Just enter your start and finish commute locations and frequency of travel, and the yearly costs for four vehicles will appear side-by-side. With EV Explorer, you can calculate the annual gasoline and electricity fuel costs of your commute or other travel in an easy-to-use chart that you can share with your friends.

I tested EV Explorer to see how my car, the Ford C-Max hybrid plug-in gasoline/electric vehicle, currently fairs for my short commute. I could save $10 a year if I went to an all-electric vehicle but then I would lose the flexibility to drive the car to San Francisco to see family and friends. If I went to San Francisco every day, I apparently could save an additional $767 annually if I had waited to purchase a new Toyota hybrid plug-in but then the car itself would have been more expensive, wiping out the financial benefit of my fuel savings. Driving a plug-in hybrid would save me about $800 to $900 a year versus a Honda Civic, if I traveled to San Francisco every day.

Join me in testing your car on your commute against a hybrid or electric vehicle by clicking here. Are you ready for an oil crisis?


Trim Your Compressed Air "Waste" line, One Pound at a Time

Posted: June 12, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com

Kaeser Compressors Inc. has published a new blog entry to company blog Kaeser Talks Shop: www.kaesertalksshop.com.

Authored by System Design and Engineering Manager Neil Mehltretter, the blog entry explains what artificial demand in compressed air systems is and gives a quick, easy and free way to help reduce it.

“While plants may take a look at the leaks in their compressed air system, they usually ignore artificial demand,” says Mehltretter. “Since artificial demand can account for 10 to 15 percent of the air in your system, this is an overlooked area of savings potential.”

For more technical resources for the compressed air industry, Kaeser’s blog features articles such as:

  • Consider All the Costs of Compressed Air
  • Receiver Tanks for Small Compressed Air Systems
  • Piston Versus Rotary Screw Compressors
  • CAGI Data Sheets: An Apples to Apples Comparison

More information:

Kaeser Compressors


EPA Requires Ford to Correct Fuel Economy for Six Vehicle Models

Posted: June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Ford Motor Company (Ford) is revising the fuel economy (mpg) estimates for six vehicle models to correct errors found in an internal Ford audit. Ford is required to correct fuel economy labels on affected vehicles within 15 days.

EPA oversaw Ford’s re-testing program and conducted independent tests to confirm the corrected results as soon as it was notified by Ford of the potential errors. Ford has agreed to implement enhanced validation tests for future vehicles under EPA oversight.

“This issue highlights the need for continued strong oversight of the fuel economy labeling program,” said Chris Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Consumers need to trust that fuel economy window stickers are giving consumers reliable and fair estimates of real world fuel economy.”

Cars currently in dealer lots will be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. Ford will re-label four versions of the Ford Fiesta, the Hybrid and Energi versions of the Ford Fusion, the C-Max Hybrid and Energi, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.  Most labels will change between 1-5 miles per gallon (mpg). The largest change is for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid whose combined city and highway fuel economy value has been reduced by 7 mpg. EPA and DOE have updated their joint fuel economy site, www.fueleconomy.gov, to reflect the corrected numbers.

EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., conducts fuel economy testing on a number of vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data submitted to EPA by automakers. These “spot-checks” are part of the oversight program that helps verify that vehicles on the road meet tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment and that all car makers follow the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates.

More information on fuel economy:http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/updates.htm target=”_blank”


GM Fuel Cell Fleet Tops 3 Million Miles

Posted: May 12, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles has passed 3 million miles of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving, avoiding 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption, GM estimates.

Some individual vehicles have accumulated more than 120,000 miles.

The fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles is part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway program, which launched in 2007.

Last year, GM announced two fuel cell-related collaborations. In July 2013, GM and Honda announced a long-term collaboration to co-develop next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems, aiming for potential commercialization in the 2020 time frame. In addition, GM and Honda are working together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure.

Also last year GM opened a Fuel Cell Development Laboratory at GM Powertrain World Headquarters in Pontiac, Mich. In September 2013 GM and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) jointly announced an expansion of their relationship for testing automotive fuel cell technology.

According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents granted in 2013, and continues to lead all companies in total fuel cell patents granted since 2002.


Waste Management’s CNG Fleet Cuts GHGs 25%

Posted: April 25, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

Waste Management’s compressed natural gas trucks cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce particulate matter by 90 percent, Automotive Fleet reports.

The waste and recycling company earlier this month added six CNG trucks to its fleet in Chico, Calif. “We see an average annual reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 8,000 gallons of diesel with the CNG trucks,” district manager Ryan West tells the publication.

The company also uses route optimization software and its truck engines are programmed to shut down automatically after idling for five minutes to further cut emissions and fuel costs.

The company has used natural gas for heavy-duty trucks since the 1990s. Waste Management operates more than 2,200 alternatively fueled vehicles and says it has the largest fleet of natural gas collection trucks in North America.

Last year, Waste Management began building a facility to create pipeline-ready natural gas from its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill. At the time, the company said it expects it to begin delivering gas to the pipelines in late summer 2014.


Posted: December 8, 2014
Source: JustMeans.com
By: RP Siegel in Energy

In 2010, heavy-duty trucks and buses accounted for 23% of all transportation-related greenhouse gases, even though they comprise less than 5% of all vehicles. In response to this, the Obama administration, in August of 2011, issued a directive, setting a new fuel efficiency targets for heavy duty trucks, starting in 2014 and extending through 2018.

With 2014 being the first year the new standards are in place, the results have been no less than remarkable. Since trucks are primarily used for commercial purposes, businesses are very interested in high efficiency since that contributes directly to their bottom line.

Sales of heavy trucks are soaring. October sales surpassed 22,000 units, the highest since 2006. Overall sales year to date have been running 20% higher than a year ago. Some of that is because buyers waited for the new models to come out. Fuel economy is a big reason why. While a typical tractor-trailer on the road today gets 5.8 mpg, those equipped with the latest engines get as much as 9 mpg. A new demonstration model SuperTruck, has been running up and down the highways, getting over 10 mpg under real world conditions. That’s an increase of 70% in fuel economy. Imagine what that can due to a trucker’s operating cost.

Transportation analyst John G. Larkin, said that “the superior fuel efficiency of the newer engines” was a key factor in the swelling sales. The fact that Daimler is already sold out of their most efficient drive trains for 2014, bears this out. Other manufacturers are having similar success stories. Big trucks today are the most efficient they’ve ever been.

This is all good news for truck makers and those that depend on them for their living. But what does it mean for the environment?

The new EPA standards, through 2018, are expected to:

  • reduce CO2 emissions by about 270 million metric tons,
  • save about 530 million barrels of oil,
  • provide $49 billion in net program benefits.

The regulations are a great example of smart policy that balances the need to maintain the environment, with the realities of the business world. While greeted with suspicion at the outset, the industry is now singing their praises. Martin Daum, President and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America referred to them as “very good examples of regulations that work well. We’re hoping for something similar with the next phase [post-2018] – challenging but good for everyone.”

There is another round of standards waiting to be rolled out, to cover the period through 2025. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is lobbying for an achievable but ambitious 40% increase in fuel economy. That would certainly have a big impact savings 1.4 million barrels of oil per day. It would also save your typical truck driver $30,000 a year in fuel costs, which would, of course trickle down to consumers.

Considering the technological tools already available including:

  • hybrid powertrains
  • direct injection technology
  • turbochargers
  • low friction lubricants
  • reduced idling practices
  • improved aerodynamics
  • reducing weight through lightweight materials
  • low resistance tires
  • use of auxiliary power units during breaks and overnights

it really shouldn’t be that big a stretch at all.

Posted: November 6, 2014

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.

In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.

“Automakers’ innovation is thriving, and Americans are benefiting from new consumer choices that limit carbon emissions and slow the effects of climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This year’s guide is not just about how the latest models compare with one another; it’s about providing people with an excellent tool so that they can make informed decisions affecting their pocketbooks and the planet.”

“Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s commitment to developing a transportation sector that minimizes harmful emissions and saves consumers’ money at the pump,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This year’s guide provides the American people with user-friendly information for making the best decisions for their pocketbooks, while also helping create a more sustainable energy future.”

The guide provides “best-in-class” lists to help consumers find the most fuel-efficient advanced-technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The best-in-class lists include multiple market segments, from two-seaters to large pickup trucks.

Consumers will find a broad range of information that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle — including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for fuel prices. The online version of the guide, available through www.fueleconomy.gov, gives consumers a personalized fuel cost estimate based on local gasoline prices and their personal driving habits. The guide includes a greenhouse gas rating (from one to 10) for each model, giving consumers a quick way to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare fuel economy among vehicles. Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions, like air-conditioning use and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, weather, air-conditioning use, and extra weight being carried or towed.http://www.fueleconomy.gov

Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established national car program standards for model years 2012-2025. These standards are projected to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and reduce America’s dependence on oil by more than 2 million barrels per day. So far, automakers’ overall greenhouse gas and fuel economy performance was, on average, ahead of what the standards require.

For tips on more fuel efficient driving, check out the gas mileage tips at http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml.

More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on fuel economy labels, are available at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ and at http://fueleconomy.gov/m/ for mobile devices. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2015 vehicles become available.

via Yahoo Finance

Telematics has revolutionized the management of fleet vehicles, reducing wear and tear and the amount of time it takes to roll up to a customer’s door. A glance at UPS shows how they do it better than anyone, and how you can streamline the operation of your own company vehicles.

If you want to understand the importance of telematics tracking software, consider that it helped UPS–the world’s largest private shipper and one of the largest fleet operators, with more than 100,000 vehicles logging 3 billion miles per year–cut its preventative maintenance schedule in half over the last five years.

That’s right: UPS went from 240,000 preventative maintenance inspections per year to 120,000. What’s especially impressive is that the company did this while increasing the reliability of its vehicles.

Director of automotive engineering Dale Spencer, who oversees the UPS fleet, explains…. READ MORE

Posted: October 8, 2014

Fuel economy gains for new vehicles continue under President Obama’s Clean Car Program

WASHINGTON – New vehicles achieved an all-time-high fuel economy in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon (mpg) ‑– a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years. The average carbon dioxide emissions are also at a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2014” report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States. The report also ranks automakers’ achievements in model year 2013.

Some additional top-line findings from the report:

  • The recent fuel economy improvement is a result of automakers’ rapid adoption of more efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.
  • Mazda vehicles averaged the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions
  • Nissan achieved the greatest improvement in average fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions over
  • SUVs achieved the greatest improvement in all classes of new personal vehicles.

“Today’s announcement points to the greatness of American ingenuity and the strength of our auto industry. Our report shows that today’s vehicles are saving Americans money at the pump while emitting fewer greenhouse gasses. We are thrilled to see that manufacturers continue to innovate and are bringing technologies to improve fuel economy online even faster than anticipated,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Consumers now have many more choices when shopping for vehicles with higher fuel economy and lower emissions compared to just five years ago. These choices reflect both a more diverse range of technology packages on conventional gasoline vehicles as well as more advanced technology and alternative-fueled vehicles.”

Under President Obama’s leadership, EPA and the Department of Transportation have implemented standards projected to double fuel economy by 2025 and cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by half.

The EPA estimates these standards will save American families more than $8,000 in fuel costs per vehicle by 2025. Throughout the duration of the program, Americans will save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, use 12 billion fewer barrels of oil, and in 2025, reduce oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil imported from OPEC every day.

The new report is at: http://epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm

Posted: September 8, 2014
Source: Energy Manager Today.com author: Karen Henry

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has released a report showing that NV Energy is a leader in the Southwest and the nation in promoting clean electric vehicle transportation.

Through its Shared Investment Program, NV Energy has facilitated the installation of nearly half the public electric vehicle charging stations in the state. Since 2009, the utility has offered a special electric vehicle billing rate that encourages people to charge their cars late at night, when demand is at its lowest and power plants typically are underutilized.

Customers in Northern Nevada, for example, who charge their cars between 10 pm and 6 am, pay 6.3 cents per kWh compared to the normal residential rate of 10.2 cents. In Southern Nevada, where electricity use spikes during the hot summer months, EV drivers who charge their cars between 10 pm and 6 am pay about 7 cents per kWh in summer and about 5 cents in winter compared to normal residential rates of 12 cents.

According to the report, “NV Energy: Leading the Way on Electric Vehicles,” electric vehicles are the cleanest transportation option in Nevada. About 66 percent of Nevada’s electricity was produced by natural gas in 2013. The remaining electricity generation comes from coal and renewable energy. Legislation passed in 2013 puts the utility on a path to retire 550 MW of coal-fired electricity generation in 2014 and another 250 MW by 2017, making Nevada a leader in the Southwest in moving away from coal and toward more renewable energy and clean-burning natural gas.

NV Energy developed its Shared Investment Program to improve range confidence and provided $500,000 to help fund new electric vehicle charging stations around the state. During 2013, the utility partnered with private and public sector entities to set up 133 individual charging ports at more than 47 locations statewide.

Employers who provide charging to their employees were also eligible to participate in the program. NV Energy offered partners up to $7,000 off the cost of a dual port charger, about half the cost.

The report comes as good news to NV Energy, which saw its energy-efficiency programs decline in 2013.

Posted July 29, 2014
Source: Fuel Fix.com by Amy Myers Jaffe

With further escalation in hostilities in Iraq as the militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tries to lock down more oil and gas assets, it is hard not to worry that an oil crisis might be looming. Saudi Arabia has fortified its northern border with Iraq with more military hardware and troops while Iraqi oil industry sources report that Iranian forces were simultaneously moving into areas surrounding the Southern Iraqi oilfields, raising the stakes in a possible escalation in recent border skirmishes. At the same time, Moscow is doubling down in its support for rebel fighters in the Ukraine, intensifying its conflict with the West and increasingly the likelihood that energy trade with Russia will get disrupted.

So far, the looming global instability has not ratcheted up US gasoline prices which are generally hovering around $3.50 a gallon. But it might be a good time for American consumers to think about how well they would be positioned in an oil crisis.

The Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis) can help you figure out the answer to that question with a new web-based tool, EV Explorer, that allows consumers to compare simultaneously up to four different vehicles on an energy cost basis.

Just enter your start and finish commute locations and frequency of travel, and the yearly costs for four vehicles will appear side-by-side. With EV Explorer, you can calculate the annual gasoline and electricity fuel costs of your commute or other travel in an easy-to-use chart that you can share with your friends.

I tested EV Explorer to see how my car, the Ford C-Max hybrid plug-in gasoline/electric vehicle, currently fairs for my short commute. I could save $10 a year if I went to an all-electric vehicle but then I would lose the flexibility to drive the car to San Francisco to see family and friends. If I went to San Francisco every day, I apparently could save an additional $767 annually if I had waited to purchase a new Toyota hybrid plug-in but then the car itself would have been more expensive, wiping out the financial benefit of my fuel savings. Driving a plug-in hybrid would save me about $800 to $900 a year versus a Honda Civic, if I traveled to San Francisco every day.

Join me in testing your car on your commute against a hybrid or electric vehicle by clicking here. Are you ready for an oil crisis?

Posted: June 12, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com

Kaeser Compressors Inc. has published a new blog entry to company blog Kaeser Talks Shop: www.kaesertalksshop.com.

Authored by System Design and Engineering Manager Neil Mehltretter, the blog entry explains what artificial demand in compressed air systems is and gives a quick, easy and free way to help reduce it.

“While plants may take a look at the leaks in their compressed air system, they usually ignore artificial demand,” says Mehltretter. “Since artificial demand can account for 10 to 15 percent of the air in your system, this is an overlooked area of savings potential.”

For more technical resources for the compressed air industry, Kaeser’s blog features articles such as:

  • Consider All the Costs of Compressed Air
  • Receiver Tanks for Small Compressed Air Systems
  • Piston Versus Rotary Screw Compressors
  • CAGI Data Sheets: An Apples to Apples Comparison

More information:

Kaeser Compressors

Posted: June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Ford Motor Company (Ford) is revising the fuel economy (mpg) estimates for six vehicle models to correct errors found in an internal Ford audit. Ford is required to correct fuel economy labels on affected vehicles within 15 days.

EPA oversaw Ford’s re-testing program and conducted independent tests to confirm the corrected results as soon as it was notified by Ford of the potential errors. Ford has agreed to implement enhanced validation tests for future vehicles under EPA oversight.

“This issue highlights the need for continued strong oversight of the fuel economy labeling program,” said Chris Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Consumers need to trust that fuel economy window stickers are giving consumers reliable and fair estimates of real world fuel economy.”

Cars currently in dealer lots will be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. Ford will re-label four versions of the Ford Fiesta, the Hybrid and Energi versions of the Ford Fusion, the C-Max Hybrid and Energi, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.  Most labels will change between 1-5 miles per gallon (mpg). The largest change is for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid whose combined city and highway fuel economy value has been reduced by 7 mpg. EPA and DOE have updated their joint fuel economy site, www.fueleconomy.gov, to reflect the corrected numbers.

EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., conducts fuel economy testing on a number of vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data submitted to EPA by automakers. These “spot-checks” are part of the oversight program that helps verify that vehicles on the road meet tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment and that all car makers follow the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates.

More information on fuel economy:http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/updates.htm target=”_blank”

Posted: May 12, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles has passed 3 million miles of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving, avoiding 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption, GM estimates.

Some individual vehicles have accumulated more than 120,000 miles.

The fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles is part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway program, which launched in 2007.

Last year, GM announced two fuel cell-related collaborations. In July 2013, GM and Honda announced a long-term collaboration to co-develop next-generation fuel cell and hydrogen storage systems, aiming for potential commercialization in the 2020 time frame. In addition, GM and Honda are working together with stakeholders to further advance refueling infrastructure.

Also last year GM opened a Fuel Cell Development Laboratory at GM Powertrain World Headquarters in Pontiac, Mich. In September 2013 GM and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) jointly announced an expansion of their relationship for testing automotive fuel cell technology.

According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents granted in 2013, and continues to lead all companies in total fuel cell patents granted since 2002.

Posted: April 25, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

Waste Management’s compressed natural gas trucks cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce particulate matter by 90 percent, Automotive Fleet reports.

The waste and recycling company earlier this month added six CNG trucks to its fleet in Chico, Calif. “We see an average annual reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 8,000 gallons of diesel with the CNG trucks,” district manager Ryan West tells the publication.

The company also uses route optimization software and its truck engines are programmed to shut down automatically after idling for five minutes to further cut emissions and fuel costs.

The company has used natural gas for heavy-duty trucks since the 1990s. Waste Management operates more than 2,200 alternatively fueled vehicles and says it has the largest fleet of natural gas collection trucks in North America.

Last year, Waste Management began building a facility to create pipeline-ready natural gas from its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill. At the time, the company said it expects it to begin delivering gas to the pipelines in late summer 2014.