Reducing the energy consumption of heavy goods vehicles through the application of lightweight trailers: Fleet case studies

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Galos, J 
Piecyk, M 
Greening, P 

Reducing the empty weight of articulated heavy goods vehicle trailers is one avenue that needs to be explored in reducing the carbon footprint of the road freight industry as a whole. A statistical analysis of two heavy goods vehicle fleets operating in the United Kingdom has helped to identify double-deck trailers used in grocery haulage and 'walking-floor' trailers used in bulk haulage as two examples of trailers that can benefit significantly from lightweighting. Energy consumption of numerous articulated heavy goods vehicles is quantified through an idealised drive cycle analysis reflecting a long haul journey over a highway. This energy analysis allows for a mass energy performance index to be established. The analysis has shown that reducing the empty weight of trailers by 30% can cause reductions of up to 18% and 11% in mass energy performance index for double-deck trailers and 'walking-floor' trailers respectively. Using this approach, trailers that will benefit the most from weight reduction can be identified systematically, allowing for lightweighting strategies to be implemented more effectively. Strategies to reduce empty trailer weight and improve vehicle utilisation are also discussed

Road freight, Heavy goods vehicles, Lightweight trailers, Truck weights, Energy efficiency
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Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
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Elsevier BV
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/K00915X/1)
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from the members of the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Grant Reference EP/K00915X/1).