Today, “going green” involves many additional factors beyond the basics of simply purchasing an eco-friendly or alternative-fuel vehicle. While GPS has been sitting in the green limelight for the past several years, there are numerous other technologies that can help a fleet reduce its carbon emissions without completely overhauling a company’s selector.
Here are just a few of the new, innovative technologies on the market today to help a fleet go green:
Ecometer Fuel-Efficiency Meter
Auto Meter Products, Inc. is a manufacturer of performance vehicle and OEM instrumentation products.
Ecometer is the company’s OBD-II “plug-and-play” instantaneous fuel-efficiency meter. It provides vehicle operators instantaneous information on how to most efficiently drive their vehicle, minimizing their carbon footprint.
It functions as both a fuel-efficiency feedback tool for those vehicles that did not come equipped with one, or as a more effective, intuitive feedback mechanism to supplement an existing OEM fuel-efficiency metered vehicle whose display lacks critical feedback data, such as the ability to program in a particular mpg target, according to the company.
Savings will vary according to operator driving behavior; however, the company conservatively estimates a 5- to 20-percent average fuel-efficiency gain, depending on the extent of the driver’s behavior modification.
The Ecometer is customizable to a variety of gasoline vehicle types (compact, full-size, SUV, truck, etc.), and displays real-time fuel economy performance in both a radial energy consumption graph and an easy-to-read digital format. Four different modes can be selected by the driver via the push of a button.
Espar Hydronic & Airtronic Heaters
Espar Heater Systems provide a comprehensive range of cost-effective fuel-operated air and coolant heaters. According to the company, Espar heaters provide significant fuel savings and reduced emissions through idle reduction.
Heater models are available for diesel, gasoline, diesel blends, and up to 100-percent biodiesel (B-100). Several models of Espar heaters have been CARB approved and EPA validated.
Espar heaters provide on-board equipment that does not require plug-in to a stationary system.
Espar Hydronic heaters are used to pre-heat the main engine coolant system of vehicles to provide warm-engine starts and reduce the need to idle the main engine for system warm-up and defrost.
These heaters can be set to automatically operate to warm the engine before the driver arrives. Espar recently announced the introduction of new smart controllers that will allow custom timer controls by the fleet manager and “one-button” driver on-demand control without the possibility of the driver altering the automatic settings.
Espar Airtronic heaters function warn a truck compartment to allow the driver to remain in warm comfort without idling the main engine.
Espar heaters are available for heavy- and medium-duty trucks, delivery trucks, automotive, off-highway, marine, transit bus, shuttle bus, school bus, cargo vans, military, RV, oil and gas, construction, and public sector applications.
SCT Fleet Solutions
SCT Fleet Solutions (SCT) provides customizable and pre-programmed engine and transmission tuning software, devices, and accessories. SCT develops, manufactures, and markets the software and hardware necessary to allow fleet owners to improve fuel economy and safety.
SCT’s fleet products improve vehicle fuel economy and driver safety, primarily through the use of speed limiters, throttle response limiters, engine-idle reduction, and other controls. Typical fuel economy gains range from 6 to 14 percent, while simultaneously reducing other fleet operating costs (i.e., wear-and-tear items and, potentially, auto liability insurance).
These products are marketed to commercial and government fleet operators for selected vans, light-duty trucks, and Class 1-4 trucks (Ford and GM products only). SCT’s fleet calibrations have been independently tested and verified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for use in all 50 states.
DriverPoint & Fleets for Change
DriverPoint is a comprehensive program used to improve efficiency and productivity. DriverPoint is built around three components: GreenDriver online driver training, DriverPoint Telematics, and DriverPoint Performance Scorecards. When used together, companies can make significant changes by lowering fuel cost, decreasing their carbon emissions, and increasing their safety. In March, DriverPoint Telematics earned the Gold Stevie Award for Business Intelligence Solution.
Developed in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, the Fleets for Change program is expected to reduce fleet emissions levels of participating companies by an average of 20 percent, generating a reduction of more than 500,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases in the first five years.
Member companies upload fuel usage and mpg data into a secure database, where they can then track their progress against their own goals and anonymously benchmark against similar fleets with regard to vehicle type and/or class, industry, and fleet size. Current Fleets for Change companies include Coca-Cola, IBM, HP, Xerox, and Maersk.
At no cost to companies who join and pledge to reduce their emissions, Fleets for Change is helping transform the environmental impact of the commercial fleet industry.