Estimating the fuel efficiency technology potential of heavy-duty trucks in major markets around the world

Published Wed, 2016.11.02 | By

Oscar Delgado, Josh Miller, Ben Sharpe, and Rachel Muncrief


Summarizes potential gains from known efficiency technologies in new freight-hauling tractor-trailers and rigid delivery trucks and presents a rationale for introducing and upgrading HDV efficiency standards in major markets.

This study, published by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, investigates the potential for new freight-hauling tractor-trailers and rigid delivery trucks to improve in efficiency with the adoption of known efficiency technologies. It develops a baseline tractor-trailer and a representative rigid delivery truck for the 2015 EU, US, Brazil, India, and China fleets. These two truck categories account for the vast majority of road freight oil use and climate emissions. The baseline fuel consumption is determined over region-specific duty cycles and payloads. Technology packages are then established that represent the most advanced applicable technologies that have been either commercialized or demonstrated to be commercially available in the 2030 timeframe. The phase-in of the technology packages into world truck markets is modeled over the 2020 through 2040 timeframe in order to determine the potential for improvement in each market. Three possible emission and fuel consumption reduction scenarios are developed to quantify the range of possible benefits over time.

Full deployment of heavy-duty vehicle efficiency technology would result in energy savings of close to 9 million barrels of oil per day, equivalent to almost 2 billion tonnes of avoided carbon dioxide emissions annually, in 2035. China and India each represent about one quarter of these potential long-term oil savings and climate benefits due to their growing freight activity. The United States, Europe, and Brazil have the next most potential energy and carbon savings from realizing their technology potential, with the remaining potential divided among countries in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

The findings of this study present a rationale for introducing and upgrading heavy-duty vehicle efficiency standards in major markets around the world. Realizing the sort of transformation in truck technology modeled here would require effective regulations. Long-term stringent regulations give vehicle and engine manufactures as well as component suppliers the certainty to invest in the commercialization of advanced efficiency technologies.

Download the paper: (GFEI Working Paper No. 14)