March 07, 2016

Government Disruption: Overview

Government Disruption: Overview

Weekly (going forward) we will take-on major issues such as: fuel costs, fleet maintenance and government mandates.  After all, the Obama administration along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated that in 2018 heavy trucks and trailers will need to be 24% more fuel efficient than their published standards.  Even the EPA estimates that improvements will cost up to $12,000 for each and every Class 8 truck.  

Janet McCabe (Head of the EPA’s air pollution office) told ‘The Hill’ that truck makers may need to use new technologies not yet commercially available in order to meet these proposed mandates.  In fact, according to the EPA, the reductions in greenhouse emissions proposed by the new mandate will come close to equaling the annual energy use by all U.S. homes, while the total oil savings would amount to a year’s worth of U.S. imports from OPEC countries.  To this point, the proposal made public in June 2015 remains substantially unchanged – signaling to fleets that they will be required to spec trailers equipped to improve the fuel economy of the trucks pulling them.

As fate would have it, in the fall of 2015 Hyliion met with DOT officials and was declared one of the ONLY stand-alone technologies capable of surpassing those guidelines.   But in this news section we will tackle these 4 issues:

  • MIXED FLEETS:  Fleets with a high concentration of regional or local work may not see legislative payback due to the trailers not spending a high enough percentage of time operating at highway speeds.
  • CALIFORNIANS: Again, with more areas proposing lower speed limits (55-mph) - this reduces the effectiveness and the ROI of the aerodynamic devices.
  • HIGH TRAILER-TRACTOR RATIOS: What are fleets with high trailer-to-tractor ratios to do? They will need to equip all of their applicable trailers regardless of their annual mileage.
  • OWNER-OPERATORS: And finally, the owner of the trailer may not be the operator of the trailer. Leasing companies (the owners of the trailers) may not have the operational incentives to equip their fleet appropriately, while fleets will balk at any increase in the capital cost.

You see, the Hyliion solution focuses on the trailer, as opposed to the truck. With more than 6 Million trailers registered in the U.S., the Hyliion system can be installed on nearly every trailer type in less than one hour. It uses regenerative braking to capture power when the vehicle is slowing down, and reuse it upon acceleration, resulting in a greater than 20% reduction in fuel consumption.  

The Hyliion solution is also unique in offering: a built in APU, enhanced stability control, and improved trailer analytics.  Going forward this section will attempt to highlight and thoroughly explain specific the new laws and regulations, what they mean for fleets and drivers, and unique technology and methods that will serve as governmental disruptors.



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