Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

Clean freight: with over 10 per cent of emissions coming from “goods moving” the push is on for greener trucking

Greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise, and approximately ten per cent of Canada’s emissions stem from freight. Though there are plenty of ideas for reducing these emissions, critics are quick to pick out the flaws and setbacks — namely, competitive and economic issues. However, other experts point out there are solutions that do not have to hurt commerce.

 

Hybrid electric and natural gas cab can pull 80,000 pounds and go for 1,200 miles between stops.

 

Emissions from freight overlooked until now

Trucking contributes heavily to Canada’s annual emissions. According to The Sate of Freight: Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Goods Movement in Canada, the industry has remained almost entirely overlooked with regards to carbon emissions. Eli Angen, co-author of the report, emphasized the value of using clean fuel standards and technology in addressing the problem without crippling the economy.

 

Walmart has big plans to electrify their fleet.

 

Furthermore, Canada’s 2nd Biennial Report on Climate Change projects that carbon emissions caused by freight will continue to rise and eventually surpass passenger emissions by the year 2030. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases coupled with the inability to find adequate solutions make it difficult to meet commitments set forth under the Paris agreement. Additionally, the transportation sector’s annual emissions have increased over 40 per cent since 1990. Within that sector, trucking has become the leading contributor to that growth. Emissions from these trucks alone have increased by over 200 per cent with the same time span.

The industry stands to gain quite a bit from finding solutions, especially with fuel being so costly. The topic has received very little societal pressure or awareness, however; and the task of finding the right solutions which benefit the sector, the environment, and the economy has proven difficult.

 

Another concept for electric (recycling an old idea) — wires:

That does not mean that the industry is not dedicated to reducing its emissions, however. Stephen Laskowski of the Canadian Trucking Alliance claimed that the industry has spent billions trying to find solutions.

“Despite these efforts,” he stated, “the diesel engine will continue to be the engine of choice to move the modern commercial vehicle and the weights that are required on these trucks.”

 

Electric car leader Tesla talks trucks: Elon Musk teases the Tesla Semi Truck at TED:

 

 

Laskowski views the problem not as an issue of money or dedication but one of ability, where the industry is at a technological standstill in terms of finding replacements for the diesel engine. After all, the methods typically employed in making vehicles more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly are not feasible in this industry. Although some companies have introduced hybrid-electric technology in their pick-ups and vans, doing the same with heavy-duty vehicles would be difficult. The technology is insufficient in pulling such large, powerful trucks and their freight.

 

Walmart shows leadership in greener freight.

 

Greener — without devastating the economy

The main goal is to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint without having to take drastic measures. Forcing the trucks off the road entirely would certainly devastate the economy. The State of Freight report highlighted some potential policies and areas that deserve further exploration as part of a collective effort to improve the industry’s environmental impact while ensuring the future of the sector and the economy. These key areas include the following:

  • Climate policies geared toward impacting the economy while drastically reducing the levels of greenhouse gases emitted by trucking and freight.
  • Heavy-duty vehicle efficiency regulations, as well as support for adequate testing necessary to determine technological viability in Canadian operating conditions.
  • Clean fuel standards and regulations designed to encourage fuel switching, beginning with biofuels and natural gas, working up to the use of electric and hydrogen options.
  • Extend land use planning methods to include the integration of methods designed to make freight movement easier and more efficient, while reducing congestion and negative impact on the communities themselves.

The report went on to stress “the importance of ensuring the involvement of all necessary stakeholders in the design and implementation of freight solutions.” Improving fuel efficiency is possible without sacrificing economic growth, as long as industry and policy-makers collaborate in the effort to find adequate, outside-the-box solutions that benefit the industry, the country, and the environment while continuing to honor commitments set forth in the Paris agreement.

More Great Stories
Clean freight: with over 10 per cent of emissions coming from “goods moving” the push is on for greener trucking
Greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise, and approximately ten per cent of Canada’s emissio [more]
Ford’s 347 kph GT: World’s fastest supercar a testbed for new automotive technology
The team of automotive engineers behind Ford’s GT had three goals when they first began work in 20 [more]
NASA Studies Climate Change in Canada’s Skies
A decade-long project, which is currently in its second year, will include NASA traversing the Canad [more]
Oil production should grow 33 per cent in Canada by 2030, despite lower oilsands spending
Crude oil production is projected to increase to 5.12 million barrels per day by 2030 — up from 2 [more]
Canada green tech company helps Chile reduce methane in landfills: $7 million project
With Chile's environment minister, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate C [more]
Engineers being heroes: helping bring much-needed water to some of the 1.8 billion people who desperately need it
According to the United Nations, approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide have little to no access [more]
First wearable real-time translator device could change how we do business internationally
Have you ever tried to close the business deal in Hong Kong, only to be frustrated by lack of qualif [more]
Ghost ships: are we ready for autonomous  super ships? BHP Billiton thinks we are, plans to utilize automated ships
BHP Billiton, one of the world’s top mining companies and producers of commodities such as copper [more]
USC Students Blast Rocket Speed and Height Records
Shortly after 9 a.m. on March 4th, University of Southern California Rocket Propulsion Laboratory’ [more]
Honda hopes to catch up on Autonomous driving and electric vehicle technology — by 2025
Honda is a favourite brand of many enthusiast drivers. No one can argue their technology isn't state [more]
Who says bigger isn’t better: General Electrics massive carbon-fibre 3D printed engine more fuel efficient
Who says bigger isn't better? GE's latest "game changer" is a massive engine for the 777X Boeing whi [more]
World’s largest public transit system to be built in only 5 years — in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia will invest $27 Billion to build the world's largest transit system in only five years: [more]
Canada will reduce oil and gas industry emissions
The Government of Canada moved to reduce oil and gas industry emissions. Today, the Minister of Env [more]
Canada’s west to lead growth of economy for 2017 at 3.3 per cent: Conference Board of Canada
Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to emerge out of recession and lead the provinces in economic [more]

Other Popular News and Stories

  • Miners struggling with higher costs, lower prices
  • Skilled labour shortage in world oil industry: report
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada announces helicopter engine contracts
  • FTG Aerospace to supply avionics to Rockwell Collins
  • Volkswagen to produce super-efficient hybrid
  • BC refinery close to financing deal
  • RV industry has growing role in Canada's economy: study
  • Manufacturing the sole industry showing job losses in February
  • Economy managed slight growth in Q4, but shrank in December
  • DART Aerospace re-branding itself to reach wider markets
  • SPPCA's new landing gear facility opening in Mississauga
  • Canadian business, except energy, had profitable Q4: Statistics Canada
  • Bombardier nearly ready to flight test CSeries
  • Canada keeping up pressure on US for Keystone XL approval
  • Canadian oil production up; producers turning to railways for shipment
  • Russian leasing company orders 42 CSeries jets from Bombardier
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • Clean energy expected to surge as pv costs drop
  • Japex to buy into west coast LNG development
  • Bombardier holds update on CSeries aircraft