With the way in which efforts have greatly increased in recent years for commercial vehicle companies to increase efficiency as well as increase ecological awareness, huge strides in the technology needed to accomplish such a goal have occurred in every industry.
One of the industries where such effort has been more expensive both in cost and in damage to the environment is the highway transportation industry, primarily due to high fuel consumption rates and high emissions resulting from excessive fuel usage.
Following in the footsteps of some of the ecologically interested passenger vehicle manufacturers, commercial truck manufacturers have begun to pay attention and do their part by making greener models of all sizes available. Now do not think that these green trucks are weaklings! Manufacturers like Freightliner recommend that commercial vehicle buyers take a closer look at this technology and be prepared for a surprise.
Green Commercial Vehicle Progress:
A major hurdle faced by manufacturers of green or hybrid commercial vehicles is how to design a version run by natural gas or electricity that is as reliable and powerful as those using diesel or gasoline fuel. Resolving such issues through better design, hybrid technology has made it into the commercial trucking world. Lack of knowledge of what to expect from these vehicles has slowed progress – but the technology is there.
Hybrid commercial versions now exist in heavier vehicles from light industrial work models to heavy highway haulers, an industry niche that can greatly benefit by a reduction in its fuel consumption. Now, with a number of commercial truck manufacturers producing designs that are proving to be just as useful – and much more efficient than standard diesel or gasoline ones – the demand for hybrid trucks is beginning to accelerate.
Natural Gas and Electric Efficiency:
The biggest limitation in using hybrid commercial trucks using natural gas is making sure there is an outlet available for the purchase of natural gas. Other than this obstacle, the inconveniences are minimal, especially with the electric versions. The trucks do cost more, which Freightliner – one of the premier manufacturers to introduce electric and natural gas hybrids into their line of production vehicles – does not attempt to hide.
The hybrids already on the highways are used to emphasize the potential savings over the life of the vehicle in fuel costs alone, sometimes as much as 60 percent. Add to that list lower emissions and a smaller carbon footprint made by these trucks and the expense to invest in cleaner, smarter operations is now much more worthwhile.
Adding to the above savings on hybrids and natural gas vehicles is the capability for interested buyers to get federal tax credits toward the purchase of such green trucks up to $30,000 for each natural gas unit and $12,000 for each hybrid. When added up, these ecologically friendly models can recover the extra cost over only a few years.
So how does the performance of this hybrid technology compare against the conventional diesel or gasoline operated truck?
The good news is that engine designs using improved gear systems and parallel electrical motors that control fuel-guzzling starting, stopping, and idling are automatically managed by the hybrid system.
The right amount of conventional energy is provided by the hybrid, creating a vehicle that runs like any other commercial truck. Natural gas versions perform exactly the same with only a natural gas fueled engine.
So when looking to replace fleet vehicles, explore the many advantages to be gained by available green technology. Freightliner is answering the call for better, more cost-effective vehicles that are kind to the environment in a great way, making strides with the most efficient commercial truck designs available today!