Additional Road Transport Case Studies
Energy Efficiency Case Studies for Road Transport
The following Case Studies were first catalouged together from external sources by the Australian Government's Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Each opportunity listed below contains a number of individual Case Studies that includes a Description of the Opportunity, the Application Relevance, the Potential Benefits and Key Implementation Considerations.
Road Transport Case Study Opportunities
Fully electric drivetrains are considered most suitable for urban applications where regenerative braking can be maximised in stop-start driving, and where a limited range is not a significant issue.
Hybrid vehicles can deliver a significant fuel saving when matched carefully to the right application.They are best suited to urban freight applications with frequent stop-start conditions, which maximises the benefit of regenerative braking.
The main determinant of suitability within the Australian market appears to be whether sufficient energy can be recovered from braking to offset the disadvantages of carrying the system’s additional weight. The most obvious applications are those that involve frequent stop-start driving, including light commercial vehicles, buses, and medium and heavy trucks operating in urban environments.
The highly urbanised nature of Australian cities and the stop-start, high gear shifting drive cycles suggest a high level of fit for urban applications in the Australian context. However, the technology can also bring benefits in open-road driving.
Reduced rolling resistance tyres offer genuine potential for fuel savings and emissions reductions across all vehicle types. They are particularly suited to long-haul applications, allowing for reduced resistance when driving at higher speeds.
Incorrectly inflated tyres increase both drag and fuel consumption. Monitoring by drivers can beboth labour-intensive and time consuming. Automatic monitoring/inflation systems ensure pressures remain close to ideal, removing the responsibility from drivers and thus increasing reliability/accuracy of pressure levels.
Idle management technology is primarily an OEM feature fitted to new vehicles and is particularly suited to light-duty urban application drive cycles with significant stopping and starting (such as urban areas).
The higher the drag coefficient of a vehicle, the higher the energy losses, resulting in greater fuel consumption. The drag coefficient tends to increase from light commercial vehicles to buses, followed by rigid trucks, and then articulated trucks.
Lightweight materials benefit both light commercial and heavy vehicle operations, with modifications to trailers and trucks applicable to both. However, there may be more opportunities with bodies and trailers than the base truck itself, as manufacturers already try to design for light weight to optimise the payload.
This opportunity has a high level of fit with Australian road freight application and is readily available in the Australian market for immediate application. There was a period when these tyres were very popular; however, it appears operators are moving away from this option due to serviceability and repair considerations.
In this area, Australia mostly adopts overseas-developed systems, so the availability of innovative and low-emissions systems depends on international product plans. Local suppliers indicate that power units using alternative power sources do not feature prominently in their current plans; however, efficiency-focused systems are available.
Some new truck dealers offer simulation or modelling programs that can help customers determine the most appropriate specification for their new truck in its particular duty cycle or application. Yet, with the heavy vehicle fleet in Australia being quite old by international standards, the opportunity applies equally to specifying new vehicles (e.g. gear ratios, engine size, cab design) as it does to selecting used vehicles for purchase.
Commitments and some progress have been made in this area under the auspices of the National Packaging Covenant, but this issue would benefit from greater focus by the freight logistics industry and its customers.
While there are many examples of this opportunity working, it is important for operators to work with their customers and consult with their local council to mitigate against the impacts of increased night-time noise in residential areas. One solution may be to restrict night-time operations to vehicles that only comply with the latest drive-by noise standards.
There is significant discussion between government and industry surrounding maximising vehicle loads. One of the key barriers to the adoption of this innovation relates to the capacity of the existing New South Wales road network (particularly road bridges) to support the higher load vehicles.
Countries including Canada and the United Kingdom are successfully running voluntary driver behaviour change programs; however, the potential to reduce fuel consumption and emissions through driver behaviour change in Australia still remains relatively unexplored.
Preventive maintenance is a relevant opportunity for all equipment and machinery. Many fleet managers and drivers will already be aware of the importance of this measure as a way of preventing breakdowns, but may not have considered the importance of regular maintenance and prompt repairs in the context of fuel savings.
Additional Case Studies
Additional Road Transport Case Studies have been made available from South Australia's Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (SA). Click on the indivdual link to the taken to the appropriate page.