Better design can save up to 45% of U.S. heavy truck fuel, or 1.7 Mbbl/d in 2050 at a weighted-average cost around $1.00 per gallon of saved diesel fuel. Truck design focuses on six major areas: lightweighting, improved aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires/wide base single tires, engine thermal efficiency gains, auxiliary power units to reduce or eliminate idling, and automatic manual transmissions. Techno-economic estimates for heavy truck efficiency potential are the product of a multi-year study of class-8 trucks conducted by the National Research Council. The 45% estimate does not consider engine hybridization, an attractive investment for many medium- and short-haul routes.
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