Bottlenecks, Infrastructure Undermine Alternative Fuel Trucks
Originally appeared in Fleet Owner
Without improving infrastructure, the freight efficiency gains and emissions reductions we hope to get from cleaner alternative fuels will not be fully realized.
For the past 12 years, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has published a report on the top truck bottlenecks by monitoring more than 300 critical freight locations. Bottlenecks slow down trucks and make the movement of goods inefficient. Bottlenecks cost money and add to emissions as trucks sit and wait to move.
The most recent rating of the U.S. infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers is a C-. This is an obvious problem and needs to be addressed. The safety of all drivers is at stake.
The C- grade is bad enough, but over the next several decades, we are going to expect our infrastructure to do even more. As we move toward alternative fuel vehicles, we will need charging and fueling stations for electric vehicles or those using hydrogen or natural gas. It can take more time to charge an EV than it does to fuel a diesel truck. As a result, we will need to build more charging stations with more parking spaces for trucks. Truck parking is already a big problem in the industry.
The fact that we can’t keep the infrastructure needed by diesel-powered trucks in better than a C- condition makes me concerned about whether we will be able to meet the infrastructure demands of new powertrains.
In addition, autonomous vehicle technology is moving at a rapid pace, and autonomous vehicles need to be able to “see” lane and edge markings to operate safely. Not every road has “readable” edge and lane markings. Autonomous vehicles will require a major upgrade to our infrastructure.
Local, state, and federal agencies need to begin work today to bring up that C- grade. We need to begin working on making improvements now, starting in the most heavily travelled freight corridors and in the areas where the congestion bottlenecks are the most severe.
If we don’t improve the infrastructure, the freight efficiency gains and emissions reductions we hope to get from these cleaner fuels will not be fully realized.
At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap. To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.
Patrick Gaskins, Senior Vice President Fleet Solutions, Corcentric
Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as VP of Financial Services, was promoted to SVP of Sales and Operations, and is now taking on this new role, where he leads Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Patrick brings to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data-driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s clients.