The news I’m reporting is electric. It pertains to the trucking industry (I have a thing for big cars that can get the mileage of a Prius (when I studied in Italy I found a diesel Land Rover, it’s not available in the U.S.)). A new report by the Carbon War Room found that the trucking industry could eliminate 624 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2020, and each truck would save $22,400 annually by retrofitting to electric engines. Now, I’m not a mechanic and I don’t know the full logistics of how the conversion would occur (that’s what YouTube is for), but the article reports that transmission and cruise control upgrades and better tires will play a large role in the reduction of carbon dioxide (I’m not for warming, I like wearing a jacket in the winter).
The most important conclusion of the report is that the financing for the upgrades will be repaid in 18 months! We often forget that most of the goods we get in this country are trucked and transported from a port or warehouse that can be several states away, especially food (I don’t need pineapples in the dead of winter)! The trucking industry is a very large sector of economy and the potential for reduction of carbon dioxide is great. EPA started the “SmartWay Partnership” in 2004 to reduce carbon emissions in the trucking industry.
Since it began, the program has amassed nearly 3,000 partners that have benefited from $6.5 billion in fuel savings and reduced 23.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the agency.
Two weeks ago, the City of Chicago announced it received $15 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to create an incentive program for the private and public trucking industry to convert to electric vehicles.
The program is set to launch in the Spring of 2013 and Chicago will be a national leader of electric fleets on it’s city’s streets. The vouchers will support up to 60% of the conversion costs and roughly 250 vouchers will be issued.
This movement is great; both sides benefit – reduced fuel costs and lower carbon emissions. This news also comes at a time when Consumer Reports just announced that the Chevy Volt is America’s Most Loved Car. 92% of owners said they would buy the Volt again. If I had to take a survey, I’d give high remarks to my no-car decision, as I approach year 3. Do what you can to reduce your footprint – walk, bike, public transport, reduce the weight in your car, make less trips, and carpool.
Have a great week. Cheers.