Thursday, February 7, 2008

Space Truck'n

This GreenBiz feature article provides a nice walk through of how several companies, including Walmart (guided by REI) have shaved big percentage points off their truck fleets' diesel expenses and emissions over the past few years. Small changes are the rule: better tires, better aerodynamics, GPS and better routing and scheduling. To me, the most innovative yet simple mod is the addition of the aptly named Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). The APU is a small generator that gives the itinerant trucker the power he/she needs to simulate home on the road. In other words, electricity to power air conditioning, heaters, small appliances and killer stereos without having to idle the big diesel engine all night. Word is the APUs consume on average 1/10th the power of the main engine, saving not only fuel costs and emissions, but wear and tear on those expensive engines as well. It's a win-win-win-win-win. Or something like that. You've got to check it out.