To truck drivers who must constantly stop to refill their tanks, what we’re about to say is no surprise – Fuel is expensive.
As a result of fuel costs, the trucking industry loses a hefty chunk of profits to oil companies on every haul. And if Class A Drivers was in charge, we’d find a way to save money on fuel and redirect that money into the pockets of hard-working truck drivers.
Fortunately, the Department of Energy (DOE) is stepping in. They recognize how important commercial trucking is for the economy and want to ensure the industry’s longevity.
In order to find methods to save money on fuel, the Department of Energy recently set aside $50 million dollars for research.
Overview of the Fuel Research Project
When semi-trucks are moving several tons of cargo, a lot of fuel is needed to haul those trailers. Whether we reduce the amount of fuel burned or find an alternative, new research has the potential to save billions of dollars for the trucking industry.
According to their press release, the DOE wants to explore new fuel methods. They mentioned resources such as natural gas, biofuel, electricity, and hydrogen. The DOE also went on to say they want to know how well alternative energy will work in the trucking industry beyond short-term profits.
For example, the DOE is researching how well fuel cell can store energy after repeated recharges. And considering most phone batteries start dying after a couple years of recharging, this research will be vital if trucks ever become all-electric.
MarkW. Menezes, Under Secretary of Energy, said, “As the fastest growing fuel users in the United States, it is important our trucking industry has access to advanced technologies, such as electrification and fuel cells, as a way to move goods efficiently and economically.”
How the Money is Being Spent
On average, the trucking industry is responsible for consuming about 25% of the nation’s fuel use in vehicles. And this massive amount is only going to rise as time goes on according to the DOE.
DOE projections for 2050 show a 54% increase in annual mileage in the trucking industry. So it’s easy to see why DOE issued$50 million for fuel research.
Now, let’s break down who gets a portion of the funds.
- University of Michigan – $1 million
- Northwestern University – $1 million
- University of Delaware – $918,500
- Montana State University – $874781
- University of South Florida -$1,600,000
- Pennsylvania State University -$895,065
- North Carolina State University -$2,499461
- Washington State University -$2,234,051
- Clean Fuels Ohio – $500,000
- Gas Technology Institute -$2,999,789
- Kenworth Truck Company (PACCAR) -$4,989,288
- Daimler Trucks North America LLC -$4,605,778
- Volvo Technology of America, Inc.- $3,799,536
- Ricardo Inc. – $4,605,398
- Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. -$1,674,100
- NEL Hydrogen Inc. – $2,000,000
- Electricore, Inc. – $2,999,037
- General Motors LLC – $1,998,518
- Nikola Motor Company – $1,700,000
- Carnegie Mellon University -$2,000,000
- University of Wisconsin-Madison -$2,695,296
- Michigan Technological University- $2,304,704
For more information on the specific type of research being done at these locations, you can download this PDF from the Department of Energy’s website.