Scaling Cleaner Freight Movement
NACFE, Yunsu Park et al, 2022 Annual Fleet Fuel Study, December 2022

Study Shares Adoption Rates of Efficiency Technologies

The Fleet Fuel Study is a deep-dive investigation into the adoption of various products and practices for improving freight efficiency with major North American fleets.

Summary
This report contains the results of a deep-dive investigation into the adoption of various products and practices for improving freight efficiency among 24 major North American fleets. This is the ninth annual update of the 2012 inaugural study that NACFE paused for three years given industry attention to an extraordinary set of circumstances, most significantly the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“While it made sense for NACFE to delay gathering data for this report, I am excited it’s back because it is an important tool for fleets that are looking to operate in a more fuel-efficient manner,” said Rob Reich, EVP, Chief Administrative Officer, Schneider.

He added, “I look forward to this report and read it each year within days of it being published. It is important to Schneider’s efforts, and it can be a critical resource to any fleet or owner/operator as well as manufacturers and others who are working to improve Class 8 efficiency.” 

The findings of this report should prove invaluable to efforts both to improve the fuel economy of a fleet and to develop and deliver fuel efficiency products to the marketplace.

Adoption Curves

Over the course of the study, five fleets have had adoption rates of more than 50%, as defined in this report, while 11 have been between 40% and 50%.
The 15 fleets in the 2022 Fleet Fuel Study, operating 75,000 trucks, saved $540 million in 2021 compared to the average trucks on the road.

Fuel Economy Overview

No one knows for sure what the price of fuel will be in the future, but fleets should conduct sensitivity analyses with respect to fuel prices and expectations about the ownership life of their assets. Regardless of the cost of fuel, it is a very significant operating expense for fleets and needs to be managed.


Price of Fuel

No one knows for sure what the price of fuel will be in the future, but fleets should conduct sensitivity analyses with respect to fuel prices and expectations about the ownership life of their assets. Regardless of the cost of fuel, it is a very significant operating expense for fleets and needs to be managed.

But throughout 2021, the price per gallon for diesel skyrocketed to an all-time high of $5.81 on June 20, 2022. For a point of reference, using a cost of even $5.00 per gallon and 7 MPG driven over an annual amount of 100,000 miles, the cost to fuel one tractor-trailer for a year would be more than $70,000. A new tractor might cost $150,000, so that tractor will spend in fuel the complete cost of the tractor in its first two years of use.

But throughout 2021, the price per gallon for diesel skyrocketed to an all-time high of $5.81 on June 20, 2022. For a point of reference, using a cost of even $5.00 per gallon and 7 MPG driven over an annual amount of 100,000 miles, the cost to fuel one tractor-trailer for a year would be more than $70,000. A new tractor might cost $150,000, so that tractor will spend in fuel the complete cost of the tractor in its first two years of use.

Fuel Cost and Adoption


Efficiency Actions

Investment in proven technologies and practices that allow a truck or fleet to increase its fuel efficiency — meaning that it lets the fleet do the same amount of business while spending less on fuel — is a hugely important option for the industry considering the trends of fuel price volatility, global geopolitical events, and governmental mandates for lower emissions and increased fuel efficiency.

Myriad technologies that can cost-effectively improve the fuel efficiency of Class 8 trucks are readily available on the market today.  


Equipment Efficiency

Since 2010, truck OEMs have been able to make every successive model year truck more efficient than the one preceding it. This compounding gains in efficiency combined with increased adoption of fuel-saving technologies has saved the industry enormous amounts of fuel and put MPGs once considered to be in SuperTruck territory within reach of regular production level vehicles. New tractors coming off the production line are achieving higher MPGs than older trucks, but that efficiency can still be improved with the adoption of other technologies and practices.

The national average of all US Class 8 tractor-trailers was at 6.24 MPG in 2020, however, fleets in the 2022 Fleet Fuel Study achieved a fleet-wide fuel economy of 7.23. MPG. The Department of Energy SuperTruck 1 trucks saw fuel economy ranging from 10 to 12.5 MPG. Trucks in NACFE’s Run on Less 2017 achieved 8.5 to 11.5 MPG, while the Run on Less 2019 Regional results were 6.5 to 9.6 MPG.

The latest model year trucks in the Fleet Fuel Study had an MPG range of 7.2 to 9.5 MPG in 2021.

There continues to be a multitude of developments underway that are sure to continue the performance increases in efficiency of these trucks.


Annual Fleet Fuel Study Reports

From 2012 to 2019 — with a three-year pause for COVID — NACFE has published its Annual Fleet Fuel Study. The study analyzes the adoption of fuel efficiency technologies being used by major North American fleets. The report includes adoption curves for the various technologies and practices fleets are investing in. This report is an important tool for any fleet looking to improve its freight efficiency. Each report has unique takeaways that fleets can leverage to make the right decisions about which technologies and practices are right for them.

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