A Tool to Predict Fleet-Wide Heavy-Duty Vehicle Fuel-Saving Benefits from Low Rolling Resistance Tires

Principal Investigator: Franklin Gbologah | Georgia Institute of Technology
Co-Principal Investigator(s): Michael O. Rodgers | Georgia Institute of Technology
Research Team: Hanyan "Ann" Li | Georgia Institute of Technology

The cost of fuel represents a major portion of the costs of operating on-road heavy-duty vehicles (HDV). Over the next couple of decades, the total energy demand from the HDV sector will likely increase due to forecasted growth in freight demand in many global markets, including the United States, and much of this energy will continue to be provided by fossil fuels. Therefore, carbon dioxide emissions from the HDV sector are also expected to increase in the absence of effective mitigating measures to reduce the sectors reliance on fossil fuels. Along with other fuel-saving technologies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency identified the use of Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) tires as an effective method of reducing fuel consumption. It is estimated that LRR tires can improve fuel economy in HDV by about 10 percent. However, adoption of LRR faces many barriers and the most fundamental of these barriers relate to potential performance uncertainties under real-world operating conditions.

In this study, we develop a tool to predict the fleet-wide fuel-saving benefits from low rolling resistance tires. Unlike previous studies, the developed tool is applicable to both stabilized speed operations and transient speed operations. The tool is based on empirical models that estimate the fuel consumption contribution from tires as a function of vehicle payload, aerodynamic drag, road grade, duration of acceleration, duration of deceleration, and road facility type (freeway, major arterial, and minor arterial/local road). The primary purpose of the Tool to Predict Fleet-Wide Heavy-Duty Vehicle Fuel-Saving Benefits from Low Rolling Resistance Tires is to assist fleet operators, regulatory agencies, and policy analysts in assessing the fuel consumption savings from low rolling resistance tires. In the future, this tool can be extended to other vehicle segments.

The HDV Low Rolling Resistance Tire Fuel and Emission Reduction Calculator is available to download as a spreadsheet tool here:

Status: Completed
NCST Grant Cycle: NCST Federal 2017-2018
Funding: $60,000.00
Sponsors: U.S. Department of Transportation, Matching Funds

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