November 15, 2022

Visions of a Greener Future, How is Trucking Affected?
Visions of a Greener Future, How is Trucking Affected?
What does a greener future mean for trucking, and how are truckers affected?

Overuse of resources, greenhouse gases, etc., are all contributing to an earth less green, and an effort to reverse these changes is proceeding. An excess of gasses such as carbon dioxide is at an all-time high, and the prosperous future of the planet could be threatened if these issues are not addressed. Carbon dioxide is the main gas emitted into the atmosphere and comes from burning coal, oil, gas, etc. Many of our daily activities produce greenhouse gases, with the transportation industry being a significant contributor to carbon emissions, causing many changes to energy sources for vehicles. How does the push for a greener future affect trucking, and why should we care?

Why We Need a Greener Future and How Trucking is Affected

Fossil fuels are burned to move vehicles, and those gases end up in the atmosphere. The earth is usually equipped to process extra carbon dioxide, but when there’s too much to process, it stays in the earth’s atmosphere contributing to warming effects. These warming effects were good for some time, keeping the planet warm enough to remain comfortably habitable, but are now reaching extreme levels, with the earth unable to keep up. Changing how we use energy and the types of energy can help restore balance. With 29 percent of U.S greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation, an opportunity for greener travel became present. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks make up most vehicles on the road, and they were the first to draw attention when thinking green. With a target of making 50 percent of all passenger cars and light-duty trucks zero emission by 2030, electric vehicles were one of the leading solutions. More and more electric cars can be seen traversing the roads, with charging stations also popping up at every corner. Semi-trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles are also on the radar for cleaner emissions, and with the Tesla semi-truck becoming available, others are following close behind. Will more follow the trend, and will trucking be required to go electric?

How to Have a Greener Future and Options for Trucking

Energy efficiency in transportation, protecting forests, and advancing wind and solar power are all ways to fight the adverse effects of greenhouse gases. The trucking industry may use electricity and hydrogen to escape diesel and go greener. The power of diesel is difficult to surpass, but developments in electric power are making headway. With sustainably sourced hydrogen power being a goal, it may be one solution for greener trucking.

How a Greener Future Might be Difficult for Trucking

There are many solutions to greenhouse gas effects, all of which would lead to a greener future. Electric and hydrogen-powered trucks do pose difficulties truckers might not be used to, keeping them in favor of diesel. The power of diesel becomes a second language to truckers, with its power allowing them to pull necessary loads, its widespread availability, and easy access adding to the convenience. With electricity comes the need for charging, which is less widely available than gas stations. Along with charging station locations being a concern comes the learning curve of time of charge and time available between charges becoming a problem. The pulling power of electric-powered trucks also comes into question, leaving truckers wondering if they can pull as much as diesel.

Other Options for A Greener Future

Changing the type of energy we drive with is one of many paths to a greener transportation future. One exciting option for alternatives to environmental issues caused by rubber tires is dandelion tires. The manufacturing of trailers is also favoring a greener future by making trailers lighter and more aerodynamic, requiring less power to pull. Prospects of highways are being considered to enable the charging of electric vehicles while driving on certain roads. Everyone is making a stand to help the earth prosper, finding ways to be greener. In many European countries, The EU toll law will require trucks using greener energy to pay less in tolls to favor greener fuels.

Restoring the balance with mother earth is essential to keep the earth functioning properly in the future. Many daily habits and operations changes are required to get back to a comfortable balance. Diesel continues to be a favorite in trucking, but developments in electric trucking are surfacing, and only time will tell whether it’s effective or not.