Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles by Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (National Research Council and Transportation Research Board, National Academies)
Liquid fuel consumption by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) such as tractor-trailers, transit buses, and work trucks has increased more rapidly in both absolute and percentage terms than consumption by other sectors, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that this will continue. EIA projects that in 2035 these classes of vehicles will consume 30 percent of all U.S. transportation liquid fuels and 23 percent of all U.S. liquid fuels. That total will represent 5.1 mbpd, compared with total projected 2035 U.S. liquid fuel consumption of 22.1 mbpd. Thus, the fuel efficiency of these classes of vehicles is of high and increasing importance (DOE, EIA, 2009c). Furthermore, in December 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) formally declared that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions endanger public health and the environment within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, a decision that compels EPA to consider establishing first-ever GHG emission standards for new motor vehicles, including MHDVs. If the United States is to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is important to consider how the fuel consumption of MHDVs can be reduced.
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles evaluates
various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy
of MHDVs. The book also recommends approaches that federal agencies
could use to regulate these vehicles' fuel consumption. Currently
there are no fuel consumption standards for such vehicles.
The miles-per-gallon measure used to regulate the fuel economy of passenger cars is not appropriate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which are designed above all to carry loads efficiently. Instead, any regulation of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles should use a metric that reflects the efficiency with which a vehicle moves goods or passengers, such as gallons per ton-mile, a unit that reflects the amount of fuel a vehicle would use to carry a ton of goods one mile. This is called load-specific fuel consumption (LSFC).
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles estimates the improvements that various technologies could achieve over the next decade in seven vehicle types. For example, using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could lower their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020, and improved aerodynamics could yield an 11 percent reduction. Hybrid power-trains could lower the fuel consumption of vehicles that stop frequently, such as garbage trucks and transit buses, by as much 35 percent in the same time frame.
Liquid fuel consumption by MHDVs represents 26 percent of all U.S. liquid transportation fuels consumed and has increased more rapidly in both absolute and percentage terms than consumption by other sectors. In early recognition of these trends, which are forecast to continue until 2035, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Section 108, was passed, requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), for the first time in history, to establish fuel economy standards for MHDVs. If the United States is to reduce its reliance on foreign sources of oil, and reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector, it is important to consider how the fuel consumption of MHDVs can be reduced.
Following the passage of EISA, the National Research Council appointed the Committee to Assess Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. As told in Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, the committee considered approaches to measuring fuel economy (the committee uses fuel consumption), assessed current and future technologies for reducing fuel consumption, addressed how such technologies may be practically implemented in vehicles, discussed the pros and cons of approaches to improving the fuel efficiency of moving goods as opposed to setting vehicle fuel consumption standards, and identified potential costs and other impacts on the operation of MHDVs.
The legislation also requires DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to conduct its own study on the fuel consumption of commercial medium- and heavy-duty highway vehicles and work trucks and then to establish a rulemaking to implement a commercial medium-and heavy-duty on-highway and work-truck fuel efficiency improvement program.
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles does not address the use of alternative fuels to substitute for fossil-fuel-based diesel or gasoline. Domestic production of alternative fuels such as biodiesel or natural gas could help to reduce demand for imports of petroleum or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but these technologies and/or strategies are not addressed. The committee provides some insights in Chapter 6 into the unintended consequences that could arise from various approaches that might be used to reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles. In addition, Chapter 7 explores the advantages and disadvantages of alternative approaches to reducing fuel consumption, since many of these alternatives involve regulatory changes, and Chapter 8 discusses fuel consumption regulatory approaches.
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles begins with a summary of the key findings and recommendations. Chapter 1, the introduction, lays the factual background for readers. Next, Chapter 2 provides vehicle fundamentals necessary for a thorough understanding of the topics addressed in the report. Chapter 3 surveys the current U.S., European, and Asian approaches to fuel economy and regulations. Chapter 4 reviews and assesses power train technologies for reducing load-specific fuel consumption. Chapter 5 covers vehicle technologies for reducing load-specific fuel consumption. The direct and indirect costs and benefits of integrating fuel economy technologies medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are addressed in Chapter 6. Chapter 7 discusses alternative approaches to be considered for reducing the fuel consumption of such vehicles. Chapter 8 discusses approaches to measurement and regulation of fuel consumption. The summary of Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles presents the committee's major findings and recommendations from each chapter; fuller discussion and additional findings are found in the report.
Amtrak by Brian Solomon (MBI Railroad Color History: Motorbooks International) is only the second of its kind to trace the 30-plus-year history of Amtrak, beginning with a look at the rise and fall of privately run passenger train service followed by a look at Amtrak’s infant stage from 1971 through 1976. Also examined is the period from 1976 to 1991, when Amtrak finally established an image, buying new equipment and refurbished old and grew its ridership despite a severely limited budget. Modern and period color photos illustrate such aspects of Amtrak as its motive power, including the high-speed Acela Express; its diverse array of rolling stock and equipment, famous long-distance trains past and present; short-haul corridors.
Against all odds, the passenger train survives in the United States. The formation of Amtrak in 1971 heralded the end of privately operated passenger train service and ushered in an era of intercity train travel financed on a budget that has vacillated between the virtually non-existent and the barely adequate.
The only extant pictorial history of America's only passenger rail network • Amtrak ridership in 2001 topped 24 million, the highest in its history • Passenger rail travel may be a concept whose time has come in this country, considering the woeful state of the airline industry and the efforts of prominent belt way politicians like Tom Harkin to make Amtrak a viable national passenger railway
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