Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book is designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. These numbers can help you in planning and benchmarking your fleet, and in telling trucking’s story to others. - Graphic: HDT

Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book is designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. These numbers can help you in planning and benchmarking your fleet, and in telling trucking’s story to others.

Graphic: HDT

Sustainability is becoming more and more important to trucking. Government regulations, shipper demands, and public opinion are driving a push toward vehicles, technology, and operational shifts that improve greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and address other environmental and societal concerns.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not slow down commitments to sustainability in the supply chain. Interest in not only energy savings and renewable energy, but also human rights protection, worker welfare and safety, increased significantly over the last year, according to a recent report from the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Although the survey didn’t ask shippers and third-party logistics companies about how they plan to choose carriers in the years ahead, “for trucking fleets, I think we can read that pressures to be part of their large shippers’ sustainability efforts did not relent under the pandemic year,” MIT’s David Correll told HDT. “Given that … it seems harder than ever now to imagine a reason that this pressure would not continue.”

Walmart, for example, has committed to reach net-zero emissions from all its vehicles and its transportation network by 2040. Knight-Swift plans to cut GHG emissions in half by 2035, and FedEx announced a goal to achieve global carbon-neutral operations by 2040.

The average emissions rates per heavy-duty vehicle has steadily declined since 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. BTS defines heavy-duty vehicles as those with more than two axles or four tires.In 2021, the bureau projects emissions to be the lowest on record, and for the numbers to continue to decrease until 2030 (the last year of BTS projections in this dataset).The emissions rates are in grams per mile, and are based on the national average age distributions, vehicle activity, temperatures, inspection/maintenance and antitampering programs in that calendar year. - Source: USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The average emissions rates per heavy-duty vehicle has steadily declined since 2005, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. BTS defines heavy-duty vehicles as those with more than two axles or four tires.

In 2021, the bureau projects emissions to be the lowest on record, and for the numbers to continue to decrease until 2030 (the last year of BTS projections in this dataset).

The emissions rates are in grams per mile, and are based on the national average age distributions, vehicle activity, temperatures, inspection/maintenance and antitampering programs in that calendar year.

Source: USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The State of Sustainable Fleets report found that in 2019 and 2020, 83% of clean-vehicle early adopter fleets plan to increase their use of natural gas, propane, battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the next five years. The report, produced by clean technology consulting firm Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, noted that even during the pandemic last year, the growth of clean technologies continued to rapidly accelerate. It saw an increase in fleet orders and deliveries for natural gas and battery-electric vehicles as well as for lower carbon renewable fuels.

The overall number of available zero-emission commercial vehicle models is on a strong upward trajectory globally despite the economic impacts of the global pandemic, according to Calstart’s Zero-Emission Technology Inventory. The United States will see an even sharper uptick in available zero-emission heavy-duty truck models compared to other global markets in the next few years, rising 250% from just eight models in 2020 to 28 models on the market in 2023. Last year at this time, only 16 heavy-duty trucks were expected to be available by 2023. - Source: CALSTART Zero-Emission Technology Inventory

The overall number of available zero-emission commercial vehicle models is on a strong upward trajectory globally despite the economic impacts of the global pandemic, according to Calstart’s Zero-Emission Technology Inventory. The United States will see an even sharper uptick in available zero-emission heavy-duty truck models compared to other global markets in the next few years, rising 250% from just eight models in 2020 to 28 models on the market in 2023. Last year at this time, only 16 heavy-duty trucks were expected to be available by 2023.

Source: CALSTART Zero-Emission Technology Inventory

Meanwhile, traditional diesel drivetrains continue to get greener. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Standards for Medium and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles went into effect with model year 2021. When fully phased in by 2027, these standards will require GHG reductions of up to 25% from MD/HD vehicles and 4-5% from engines.

But as the State of Sustainable Fleets Report points out, traditional drivetrains face increasingly stringent regulatory initiatives (including outright bans) and growing expectations from sustainability-oriented customers and the public.

Ultimately, the pace of widespread fleet adoption of new sustainable vehicle technologies comes down to whether they can compete with traditional drivetrains in terms of performance and total cost of ownership.

According to ACT Research, by 2035, about 40% of the Class 4-8 market in the U.S and Canada will be electric vehicles, with gains achieved due to a compelling business case, particularly as battery costs drop and stricter emissions regulations make vehicles with internal combustion engines more expensive. - Source: ACT Research Charging Forward Report, 2021

According to ACT Research, by 2035, about 40% of the Class 4-8 market in the U.S and Canada will be electric vehicles, with gains achieved due to a compelling business case, particularly as battery costs drop and stricter emissions regulations make vehicles with internal combustion engines more expensive.

Source: ACT Research Charging Forward Report, 2021

Trucking is an increasingly data-driven industry. Numbers matter. There’s no end to the available software and analytics available to fleets today to help them analyze and improve their operations.

But sometimes you want to look at statistics and data to help give you the big picture, and this is what Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book issue is all about. It’s designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. These numbers can help you in planning and benchmarking your fleet, and in telling trucking’s story to others. And it can serve as a reference guide throughout the year.

This is the seventh year for the HDT Fact Book. Check out the other published sections of the Fact Book:

Industry: Trucking Rides High on Economic Recovery

Logistics: Winners in Logistics Adapt to Fast-Changing Demands

Safety: Safety, Regulatory Issues Top of Mind for Fleets

Drivers: Driver Trends Remain Consistent

EquipmentTruck, Trailer Makers Strive to Keep Up With Demand

Maintenance: Maintenance Costs Expected to Rise

Sustainability: Sustainability Focus Not Slowed By Pandemic

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