When it comes to Global Warming, there should be at least one arena of full agreement: there is no excuse not to be pursuing a “no regrets” strategy. E.g, pursuit of policies, programs, and technologies that make sense no matter whether you accept the weight of scientific evidence or are hoping that the skeptics at the margins are right. (Actually, I hope that the skeptics are right — that Global Warming turns out to be Inhofe’s “hoax on the American people” — as that would mean a much better world for my future and my children …) But, returning to ‘no regrets’, this would mean pursuing things that simply make economic and social sense. For example, Walmart’s investment of $500 million per year in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability at a two-year payback period. That is a pretty impressive ROI and one the rest of the economy would be well counseled to imitate.
When it comes to their transport, Wal-Mart seeks to increase its fleet efficiency by 25 percen tin the comign few years. The latest news in this rough is that Wal-mart is working with Peterbilt Motors Company and Eaton Corporation on “advanced hybrid technologies developed [for] o an aerodynamically styled heavy-duty vehicle for superior fuel efficiency and greater environmental stewardship.”
This “heavy-duty hybrid electric power system will be available in 2009″ and should provide a 5-7 percent fuel savings versus comparable non-hybrids. And, with diesel at $2.50, this is an expected fuel savings, per truck, of about 4,000 gallons or $10,000 per year, year-in, year out.
Unlike some developing hydraulic systems, this is a battery-based hybrid.
“The system captures energy generated by the diesel engine and recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. That electric torque is then sent through the motor/generator and blended with engine torque to improve vehicle performance, operate the engine in a more fuel-efficient range for a given speed and/or operate only with electric power in certain situations. …The system’s batteries power the heating, air conditioning and vehicle electrical systems while the engine is off.”
Truly, this last is a big deal actually … from the comments to the discussion over at GreenCarCongress
This is a big deal. Exerting energy to move goods around? That’s OK. Exerting energy to stay still for 8 hours at a time? That stinks. Reducing the idling is low hanging fruit and hats off to them for plucking it.
Have to agree … glad to see the harvesting.