In April 2023, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission approved a plan to transition heavy-duty and medium-duty trucks sold in the state to electric or hydrogen fuel cells starting in 2027. The objective is to have 40% of semi trailers using zero-emission fuel sources by 2035.
Researchers, manufacturers and others are working hard to create materials, products and processes that reduce carbon emissions and have less of a negative impact on the environment. They’re making great strides and announcing helpful innovations regularly. But, of course, it takes time for new ideas to reach a point where companies can capitalize on them. And with mounting pressure from regulatory agencies, customers and others to shrink their carbon footprint, businesses are feeling that they need to start showing progress now.
It’s more common today than ever to see telescopic semi trailers on the road. Also called extendable flatbed trailers, expandable flatbed trailers and stretch-deck trailers, they can carry especially long items that standard flatbeds can’t accommodate.
As the transportation industry looks for ways to move to renewable, clean energy sources, the focus often is on powering trucks. However, researchers and manufacturers are increasingly looking at the energy needs—and the energy-generating potential—of semi trailers.
With fuel costs always increasing (even after occasionally plateauing or even dropping temporarily) and big rigs averaging about 6 miles per gallon (mpg), any improvement in a vehicle’s aerodynamics can produce savings. And the more improvements you make, the more you save—especially if you’re operating a fleet of trucks and semi trailers.