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Evaluating Alternative Fuel Technologies

Fleet owners are evaluating alternative fuel technologies in order to reduce their fuel bills. Owners try to match fuel alternatives to their fleet profile.

Kevin Beaty, Calstart vice president and director of its High Efficiency Truck Users Forum, has shared five steps every fleet owner should step through when evaluating alternative fuel technologies:

1. Baseline your fleet

Determine your fleet’s fuel usage and measure yearly fuel burn for each vehicle.

2. Know your options

Can you eliminate or reduce truck idling? Consider changes in operations, i.e. matching vehicles to their applications better and removing poorly performing vehicles.

3. Match your options to your fleet profile

Consider the geography/terrain where vehicles are running. You wouldn’t want to use hybrid electric vehicles on higher speed routes. Plug-in vehicles are great for some parts of the country, you have to consider the fueling infrastructure.

4. Outline your reduction path

Don’t rush into putting together a plan and don’t plan too far in advance. Improvements are expected in vehicle fuel economy, so you need to keep up with developments and trends.

5. Paying for your plan 

New fuel technology is expensive. Realize there is no ‘silver bullet’ option that covers every vehicle or fleet. Plan a portfolio of options and deploy them smartly.

 

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