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Semi-trucks and trailers are increasingly under criticism for not being fuel-efficient, especially as competition increases and demand for faster delivery of partially filled loads skyrockets. But many private and small to medium fleets don't have the budget to invest in experimental technology, and this could force a change in the markets as individual states work to enact legislation about stricter emission standards.
Instead of creating electric trucks or more aerodynamic trailers, companies like Hyliion Inc. are focusing on modular technologies that can be added on to pre-existing trailers to make them more efficient. This company has recently become well-known for creating an electric axle that can store the otherwise lost energy a trailer generates while slowing or going downhill and then apply that energy to later accelerations, which reduces emissions and fuel consumption by thirty percent.
An increase in partial solutions, which lets older models of trailers continue to be used instead of needing replacement, might be the temporary fix the industry needs as the national government responds to individual state actions and works on clarifying national standards. The electric axle is being tested and recommended for use for Class 8, long-haul fleets, especially when routes require drivers to cross multiple state lines and be in compliance with different state regulations. Axioma Ventures, a technology investment company, seems to agree that hybridization instead of vehicle replacement will become a popular alternative and has invested $21 million in Hyliion.
For more news about advancements in semi-trailer technologies and updates about state and national regulatory changes, see Country Supply's Industry News.
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