With the transportation sector as one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, the trucking industry might be the last place you’d check for innovations moving toward clean energy.
That’s why Sir Richard Branson, his Carbon War Room nonprofit and the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) decided to hold Run on Less, a cross-country roadshow set to race across America in late September. Run on Less will highlight technologies that provide better fuel economy and their subsequent benefits to the environment.
“If you don’t go after transport emissions, you’re going to fail,” Branson said during a press call this week. “The average truck spends about $75,000 on fuel. If we can nearly halve their emissions, we can halve their fuel bill and make a big difference on reducing carbon emissions by 2050, which I think most people in most countries want us to get to.”
Key word being “most countries” as President Donald Trump recently announced his plan to pull out of the historic Paris Climate Agreement to renegotiate a “better deal” for the U.S. in the 2016 accord between 192 countries.
“I suppose a lot of people in the world are baffled by the American administration’s … very strange stance,” Branson said. “Fortunately the other (191) countries stuck with it, most states in America have stuck with it, most companies in America stuck with it.”
For Eric Fuller, CEO of U.S. Express, one of seven fleets taking part in Run on Less, “being a steward of our environment is also very important to us. We really look to try and minimize our carbon footprint as much as possible.”
Most semi-trailers average 5 mpg, but the technologies that will be showcased in Run on Less hope to raise that to 9 mpg. Those technologies, according to the NACFE, include reducing idle times, optimizing tires and making the tractor and trailer more aerodynamic.
Of those technologies, “there are no silver bullets” into which one will come out as the frontrunner during Run on Less, said Mike Roeth, who leads trucking efficiency operations for the NACFE and Carbon War Room. “These fleets in the run are about showing not only what can be run, but what is happening with some of the most fuel-efficient fleets out there.”
“We need to use as little (fuel) as we can whilst we have the climate change issues happening and reduce their use so that they are around for centuries to come,” Branson said. "And I think that’s what ROL is showing the trucking industries — how to save money, how to reduce their oil use and ultimately how to make a contribution to helping to save the globe we’re living on.”
For more info, visit RunOnLess.com.