Trucking has come a long way since the internal combustion engine largely replaced the horse in early 20th century cities. From Rudolf Diesel’s compression ignition engine, to the early multitude of truck bodies for Ford Model Ts, to containerization, trucking has evolved into a huge and crucial industry for moving goods worldwide. But moving all of that stuff requires gigawatts of energy. Most of that energy comes from BTU packed diesel fuel with much smaller shares of natural gas (liquid and compressed gas), bio-diesel, and others niche energies.
What hasn’t changed over the past half century are trucking aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, as they took a back seat to pollution control. And while pollution dropped significantly, fuel efficiency experienced relatively minor improvements. With the exception of a move from cab over trucks to conventional rigs, commercially available truck shapes haven’t changed much, leaving some of us to pine for the shapes seen in concept trucks.
But this is changing; boxes attached to boxes on wheels are giving way to sleek, efficient vehicles using high tech methods for increasing efficiency AND preventing pollution. Electricity can already serve in an assistive role in the form of range extenders, regenerative braking and motive batteries, and it may do more in the future. FE Truck will be dedicated to observing, documenting, commenting on, and encouraging this change.