Where do the big diesel-powered semi trucks fall on your list of green automotive trends? Not real high? Mine either, to be honest. This is not to say that trucking in not important, or that I want it to stop, that is not the case. As a matter of fact, the American economy is largely dependent on the vehicles transportation of our goods. They are necessary, is what I'm trying to say. And, being that there are so many on the road, anything that can be done to help them reach higher mileage and lower emissions is excellent.

That is why I was rather excited to see this post on Treehugger. Cascade Sierra Solutions has gone along with the SmartWay Partnership collaboration with the EPA. The gist of it is the modifications:
  • Single tires: A tire with 17-inch tread can replace double 11-inch wheels on long-haul trucks converting an 18-wheeler to a 10-wheeler, and saving as much as 8 percent in fuel.
  • Radio-controlled tire pressure monitors -- running fully inflated tires saves fuel.
  • A dashboard display that gives a continuous reading of fuel efficiency, allowing the driver to adjust driving techniques to save fuel.
  • Diesel air cleaners that reduce emissions 90 percent -- and cost $18,000. "You can literally put a white hanky over the tail pipe and it won't turn black," CSS director and founder Sharon Banks said.
The first such Cascade Sierra Solutions "Outreach Center" is in Salem, Oregon, and will be one of five planned. A comment on the site stated that the first three are easily attainable, but the fourth, and arguably best, is rather expensive, however CSS claims that there is an approximately 3-5 year return on the investment. With most trucks running much longer than that, this has great potential.

[Source: Cascade Sierra Solutions and SmartWay via Treehugger]

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