Southwest trucking increase - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, GHG Emissions, Solar  -  August 9, 2017

Trucking company increases fleet efficiency

A Southwest-based transportation company recently completed a purchase of 1,000 solar power systems for its fleet of Navistar commercial trucking fleet and exceeded the SuperTruck program improvement goals set by the U.S. DOE.

Mesilla Valley Transportation, locally owned in western Texas and southern New Mexico, provides transportation between major manufacturing areas in North America. The company tested the solar energy system for its Navistar fleet of commercial trucks at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Ind.

The company partnered with eNow, a renewable energy company working within the transportation sector, on freight efficiency technology. The CatalIST model, the Navistar demonstration vehicle, achieved a freight efficiency improvement of 104%, sipping diesel at 13 MPG, according to a news release.

Navistar also tested the eNow solar technology on the model vehicle, which also showed 50.5% Brake Thermal Efficiency, and saw various results in the efficiency of the fleet, including increased daily run time for auxiliary equipment and increased battery life from six months to two years. The upgrades also saved approximately three gallons of fuel per day from reduced engine idling and decreased maintenance cost due to reduction in engine idling.

“Our daily idle time is less than 6% on the whole company fleet and we utilize electric APUs 100%,” Royal Jones, CEO and president of Mesilla Valley Transportation, said in a statement. “Over time we had noticed shortened battery life and shortened alternator life due to the demand on batteries and the fact that we run eight batteries.”

The announcement follows the growing trend of transportation companies looking to reduce their environmental impact. Earlier this year, six large corporations including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., UPS and PepsiCo Inc. accelerated their commitment to transitioning to low carbon fuel and related technologies in signing on to the new Sustainable Fuel Buyers Principles organized by global nonprofit BSR.

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