Scaling Cleaner Freight Movement

Determining Efficiency

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the fuel and freight efficiency measurement and estimation methods used by the industry today. This will allow fleets to make better investment decisions, no matter the technology they are considering.

I want access to as much credible information as can be obtained, in order to determine the fuel savings potential for any technology that we may introduce into our fleet.

– Rob Reich, Senior Vice President, Equipment, Maintenance & Driver Development, Schneider National, Inc.

Overview and Test Methods

There are many fuel efficiency technologies available to fleets but no truck could or should have all of them. Fleets must analyze the range of options and compare them against their own operations to determine which offer the fastest payback. To do this, fleets need a solid understanding of their own operation and test data on the performance of various vehicle technologies.

However, it is not possible for fleets to test every device so they must rely on data from other sources. There are a variety of test methods and each has its appropriate application. Understanding what each test method involves, its benefits and challenges, and how it deviates from real world performance will help fleets have a better understanding of how to interpret the data.

OEMs should also conduct tests on the fuel efficiency of various components to help determine which technologies to offer on their vehicles. In addition, providers of technology should invest in testing in order to better develop and validate their designs.

Basic Test Methods

There are many published test methods, but all fall into one of five basic categories:


Determine How to Prioritize
All the test methods have value in helping to determine how to prioritize technology adoption.

A Starting Point for Technology Investments
Test results provide a starting point for discussion in technology investments.


Testing Variance
Variance among testing methods.

Extrapolation of test results.

Attributing Efficiency Gains
Need to precisely attribute efficiency gains.

Use of older data.

Precision vs. Accuracy
Confusion between precision and accuracy.

Complexity of Calculations
Complexity of calculations and variables measured.

Cost to Benefit Evaluation
There is no one single correct method for fuel economy evaluation. Each method has its costs and complexity. Cost to benefit needs to be considered before purchasing a fuel saving technology.

Case Studies



For Fleets

For Test Designers and Others Sharing Test Data

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