New tech­nol­ogy to cut fuel con­sump­tion, CO2 emis­sions sig­nif­i­cantly

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

STUTTGART/ BER­LIN — Us­ing tech­nolo­gies avail­able on the mar­ket, the fuel con­sump­tion, and there­fore the CO2 emis­sions, of mod­ern truck com­bi­na­tions can be re­duced by a dou­ble-digit per­cent­age.

This was the find­ing of a field test, the re­sults of which were pre­sented this week in Ber­lin by Daim­ler Trucks to­gether with the project par­tic­i­pants. Th­ese re­sults from field tests with the name Ef­fi­ciency Run will be of great sig­nif­i­cance in the fu­ture for achiev­ing CO2 tar­gets for road freight trans­port.

This is be­cause the Ef­fi­ciency Run has demon­strated that fuel con­sump­tion, and there­fore also CO2 emis­sions, can be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced — also at lower cost — if op­ti­mi­sa­tion ef­forts fo­cus not just on the en­gine of the trac­tor unit, but on the ve­hi­cle as a whole. Ad­di­tional sig­nif­i­cant CO2 re­duc­tions, which could add up from fac­tors like spe­cific fu­els, fleet op­er­a­tions or driver train­ings, have not yet been con­sid­ered in this field test.

The se­ries of tests was con­ducted by Daim­ler Trucks in co­op­er­a­tion with the lead­ing Ger­man lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies DB Schenker Lo­gis­tics, Grosse-Vehne and Elflein. This in­volved gen­uine freight be­ing driven on gen­uine routes un­der re­al­is­tic con­di­tions. The tests were su­per­vised in de­tail by the Dekra test­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, which laid down the test con­di­tions, car­ried out the mea­sure­ments and eval­u­ated the re­sults. One of the key re­sults: The two Mercedes-Benz Ac­tros stan­dard semi-trailer com­bi­na­tions that were op­ti­mised for the Ef­fi­ciency Run each con­sumed around 12 to 14% less fuel than stan­dard semi-trailer com­bi­na­tions of the re­spec­tive trans­port com­pa­nies based on their fleets in 2014. The Ef­fi­ciency Run also in­ves­ti­gated the po­ten­tial of the Long Com­bi­na­tion Ve­hi­cle — once again with a clear re­sult. In the test, the stan­dard Long Com­bi­na­tion Ve­hi­cle showed a re­duc­tion in con­sump­tion of around 17% com­pared with the stan­dard semi-trailer com­bi­na­tion used in vol­ume-based trans­port.

The goal now is to adopt an in­te­grated ap­proach with com­mer­cial-ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers, body/tyre sup­pli­ers, lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies and, last but not least, politi­cians.

Daim­ler Trucks pre­sented this con­cept to­gether with other Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers at the 2014 IAA for Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles. The ob­jec­tive of the in­te­grated ap­proach is to op­ti­mise the en­tire truck/trans­port sys­tem.

In ad­di­tion to the trac­tor unit, con­sid­er­a­tion is given also to the semi­trailer (e.g. weights and di­men­sions, air re­sis­tance, light­weight de­sign), tyres (e.g. rolling re­sis­tance, air pres­sure, sin­gle tyres) and fuel (e.g. bio­fuel, nat­u­ral gas). Yet the in­te­grated ap­proach also at­taches im­por­tance to ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tion (e.g. driver train­ing, cargo pool­ing), in­fra­struc­ture and the is­sue of fleet re­newal. The Ef­fi­ciency Run has now demon­strated that the in­te­grated ap­proach works in re­al­world prac­tice. — Supplied.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Merc staff prov­ing diesel con­sump­tion and CO2 emis­sions can be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced with an in­te­grated ap­proach.

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