By Jennifer Stoneburgh @ MaRS
May 21, 2013
After a recent discussion with friends regarding greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation industry, I walked away realizing that we hadn t ventured past personal vehicles.
We had covered some interesting topics: the fuel efficiency of different vehicle models, hybrid-electric versus electric vehicles and, of course, alternative methods of transportation, namely walking, biking and public transit. But we hadn t talked about the trucking industry at all! Which left out a significant portion of the fossil fuel-consuming, greenhouse gas-emitting transportation sector from our discussion.
In Canada alone, trucking represents a $65-billion industry, employing over 260,000 drivers. In 2006, heavy trucks accounted for 21.8 billion kilometres of transportation in Canada and medium-sized trucks accumulated an additional 7.4 billion kilometres (Canadian Trucking Alliance1).
To put that in perspective, that s about 730,000 trips around the Earth or 97 round trips to the sun. All of this accumulated mileage requires fuel lots of fuel. However, fuel requirements, primarily diesel, include not just the amount of fuel needed to move the transport vehicle from location to location, but also the energy required to run the HVAC and auxiliary power systems that are necessary to maintain the vehicle s cabin environment.
EnerMotion2, an Ontario-based startup and MaRS client, has developed a method of capturing waste exhaust heat from a vehicle and converting it into useful, practical and efficient energy. EnerMotion s Hybrid Power & Energy Recovery (HYPER) storage system is an innovative mobile waste heat recovery and energy storage system with potentially huge implications in transportation applications.
The goal of the HYPER system is to reduce operating expenses for the trucking industry while meeting anti-idling laws. The system improves the overall efficiency with the vehicle both in motion and at rest. Additionally, the HYPER system is an environmentally friendly solution that has the potential of removing thousands of kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. In fact, the carbon dioxide reduction for a long-haul truck with a sleeper cab adopting the HYPER unit is estimated at 92 cubic metres (32.5 tonnes) per year, with an average truck in Canada and the United States realizing 55 cubic metres (19.5 tonnes) per year. The corresponding figure for the entire North American truck fleet would be 48,900 kilotonnes per year!
How does it work?
Waste heat from the truck s engine, in the form of exhaust, is captured and used to drive a refrigeration cycle similar to the process used in your fridge at home. The HYPER system is able to generate cold and hot thermal conditions with the same unit, providing a complete HVAC system for the truck s cabin and sleeper without consuming any extra fuel. Further, the HYPER unit has the ability to store thermal conditions to provide HVAC capabilities for various haul routes in a variety of environmental conditions and climates while the vehicle is at rest, thereby eliminating idling of the main engine or the use of diesel auxiliary power units. The technology offers significant operational cost savings and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
EnerMotion is currently conducting road trials of their HYPER system on their own heavy-duty truck. They most recently returned from Florida, where the trials yielded very positive results. The company will be expanding field trials with customers in the coming months as traction increases all across North America.
And the award goes to
EnerMotion s HYPER system was recently chosen among thousands of submissions to receive a 2013 Invention Award from one of science s most widely read magazines, Popular Science3, which has more than seven million readers. The magazine s May 2013 issue announced the winners of the 2013 Innovation Awards, giving EnerMotion top honours in the energy category with the award for Hot Savings4.
In a recent Meet the Entrepreneurs panel5 at MaRS, Jack MacDonnell, CEO of EnerMotion, talked about the difficulty of raising capital and emphasized the need to maximize use of government funding programs. Jack and his team have made full use of Canada s funding programs, which have allowed them to finance the development of HYPER.
Thus far, EnerMotion has received financial support from:
EnerMotion has also secured partnerships with strategic players who are helping the company to de-risk its technology and build out customer traction. You can see a list of EnerMotion s partners on their website6.
Advice for entrepreneurs
I sat down with Jack to discuss his business and to get some advice for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
You ve been extremely successful in securing non-dilutive government funding. How important has this been to growing EnerMotion?
Our government funding has really helped us leverage private capital and achieve progress from one year to the next. It s a tough grind raising capital in North America, either from private investors, venture capital firms or investment banks. Having financial support from the government provides tangible differentiators between you and the next guy and there are lots of other startups out there all vying for the same capital. In my humble view, Canada has one of the most accessible and rewarding funding infrastructures in place anywhere in the world, and if you re not capitalizing on it for your own venture, you and your company are missing out.
What inspired you to tackle fuel efficiencies in the energy sector?
My team and I have been focused on energy efficiency since Day 1 of EnerMotion s existence. We realized that changing infrastructure overnight was unrealistic, but that the world needed an answer to fossil fuel consumption and harmful greenhouse gas emissions now. This is what motivated us to develop the HYPER technology, because tangible benefits are the outcome of improving energy efficiency especially in the heavy-duty transportation segment.
What is the return on investment for your technology? What s the payback period?
Industry average with existing technologies (i.e., idling primary engines or utilizing fuel-powered auxiliary power units) is approximately three-and-a-half years, according to research company Frost & Sullivan. Our HYPER technology offers payback significantly less than one year for line haul drive cycles. Additionally, our HYPER unit functions while the vehicle is in motion, unlike any other commercial system, so there is additional payback associated with the elimination of the A/C compressor being driven off the engine.
Legislation in the United States and Europe is already driving adoption of anti-idle technologies. Canada, Australia, India, China and other countries are not far behind in adopting and enforcing similar legislations. Other transportation sectors are adopting energy-efficient technologies that also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. In addition to all of the vehicles on the road or off road, HYPER technology is being considered by original equipment manufacturers because of its compelling value proposition for their own customers. Mandatory adoption will be driven by clean air legislation and by the market demanding energy efficient products on a global scale.
- ^ Canadian Trucking Alliance (www.cantruck.ca)
- ^ EnerMotion (www.enermotion.com)
- ^ Popular Science (www.popsci.com)
- ^ Hot Savings (www.popsci.com)
- ^ Meet the Entrepreneurs panel (www.marsdd.com)
- ^ website (www.enermotion.com)
- ^ exemptions (oee.nrcan.gc.ca)
- ^ cleantech (www.marsdd.com)
- ^ transportation (www.marsdd.com)
- ^ trucking (www.marsdd.com)
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Alliance Truck Parts, a leading provider of replacement truck parts for the commercial transportation market, has worked diligently to deliver on its position as an all truck makes parts supplier. That effort is paying off with steady customer awareness and interest from owner operators that drive Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) product and other truck makes.
With a rebranding effort launched in early 2011 focusing on increasing awareness of the all- truck makes parts brand, Alliance has built out its catalog offering, focusing on frequent-replacement parts and accessories. The most visible promotional platform for brand awareness continues to be Alliance s partnership with Penske Racing to sponsor a car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as participating as the title sponsor for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 Nationwide race at the Michigan International Speedway in June, billed as The Race That Trucking Built.
We ve worked hard to deliver on our all-makes promise of offering better parts at value prices at more than 800 locations across the U.S. and Canada, said Todd Biggs, director, Aftermarket parts and Service Marketing for Daimler Trucks North America. That value, the expanding breadth of our product offering and the nationwide availability are helping Alliance Truck Parts make real gains in the competitive aftermarket parts category.
Sometimes the options for aftermarket parts can seem overwhelming. The source and quality of what comes out of the box can have a significant impact on a truck owner s bottom line. Alliance Truck Parts offers a full one-year unlimited-mile warranty, like most OEM parts, but as part of the good-better-best continuum, Alliance has strategically positioned itself below the pricing of OEM level parts that often include major branded component manufacturers. By leveraging the scale and power of the DTNA network and other distribution partners, Alliance can source its private-label parts at a quality level approaching and often exceeding many branded parts suppliers, delivering on its good parts, better prices promise.
We know that when a truck is down, it costs the owner more than just the money to repair it, added Biggs. Alliance Truck Parts meets the broader needs of the all makes market, offering quality and value when and where it s needed most. This year at MATS we re launching a new line of heavy-duty alternators to our parts lineup that stand up to the higher-temperatures of today s EPA-compliant engines. We re also showing off our new mobile-optimized website; part of our continuing effort to use the best and most efficient tools to get parts information to our customers.
Wheat exports from India, the world s second-biggest producer, may surge to an all-time high next year after the government approved additional shipments to make room for a near-record harvest starting next month.
A panel of ministers headed by Farm Minister Sharad Pawar authorized the export of 5 million metric tons from state reserves by private companies, Food Minister K.V. Thomas told reporters in New Delhi today. That s in addition to 4.5 million tons already approved for shipment by government-run companies since July, he said.
India s shipments are adding to global supplies even as Australia predicts a 13 percent increase in its harvest, snow replenishes soil moisture in the U.S., the biggest shipper, and Argentina eases export curbs. Sales from India may reach 10 million tons in the year from April 1, according to the New Delhi-based National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research. That, along with forecasted record rice inventories in the biggest exporters, may restrain world food costs that tumbled 12 percent from an all-time high in 2011.
India has got four to five months for exports until the Northern Hemisphere crop comes into the market in August and September, said Vijay Iyengar, managing director of Agrocorp International Pte., a Singapore-based trader. Countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will buy Indian wheat.
More exports of wheat by state-run trading companies may be allowed as we want to establish our brand, Thomas said. The government fixed a minimum price of 14,800 rupees ($271.88) a ton for exports and private traders need to buy the grain from 2011-12 crop supplies kept in warehouses in Punjab state, he said.
Exports from India may total 5 million tons in the year ending March 31, with sales mostly to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa at prices ranging from $305 to $315 a ton, displacing supplies from Ukraine and Australia, Veena Sharma, secretary of the Roller Flour Millers Federation of India, said yesterday. The country is boosting shipments at a time when prices are trading near eight-month lows after crops improved globally.
Futures have fallen 27 percent in Chicago since reaching a four-year high of $9.4725 a bushel in July. The contract for May delivery rose 0.6 percent to $6.88 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 9:33 a.m. Prices fell to as low as $6.80 yesterday, the lowest since June 22. The global wheat harvest may climb 4.3 percent to 690 million tons this year, the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization said today in a report, as European farmers expanded acreage while yields rebound in Russia.
The global wheat price looks bearish, so India should export as early as possible, said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice president at New Delhi-based SMC Comtrade Ltd. Though it is bearish globally as it will add to the surplus, the Indian market looks bullish.
India s wheat production may total 92.3 million tons in the year ending June, near the record 94.9 million tons a year earlier, according to the farms ministry. State wheat stockpiles in India expanded 32 percent to 31 million tons at the start of February. The government plans to boost purchases from farmers to 44 million tons in the marketing year starting April 1 from 38.1 million a year earlier, the food ministry said Feb. 19.
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Under the SAFEcontractor scheme, Sussex Transport undertook a vetting process in which our health and safety procedures and our track record for safe practice were examined. This scheme also gives our customers reassurance that Sussex Transport maintains high health and safety standards at all times.
Clean Energy Fuels has met its goal of completing 70 liquefied natural gas truck fueling stations this year, finishing the first stage of a network to support long-haul, heavy-duty trucks moving goods along major interstate corridors throughout the United States.
The company, one of the largest providers of natural gas fuel for transportation in the US, previously completed six LNG fueling stations in Southern California. Of the 76 LNG truck fueling stations now completed (see map, above), only 10 are open and operating. The six in Southern California are open as well as fueling stations in Las Vegas; Dallas; Baytown, Texas; and Seville, Ohio.
Clean Energy Fuels will open more stations once there s demand, spokesman Bruce Russell said. The company is in contact with major trucking companies and as new natural gas truck engines roll out, demand for the fueling stations will rise, he said.
Meanwhile, the company plans next year to build another 70 to 80 additional LNG fueling stations adjacent to long-haul trucking routes and around major warehouse distribution centers in the US.
Last month, Clean Energy Fuels announced it would work with GE1 to expand LNG infrastructure as part of its plan to enable trucks to operate on the fuel across the United States. Clean Energy said it will buy two MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas as part of the deal. Each plant, which will support fueling stations along critical transportation corridors, has the capacity to produce 250,000 gallons of LNG per day, GE said.
The plant is designed to expand to up to 1 million gallons per day as adoption and demand increases. The LNG produced by the MicroLNG plants will be used primarily at Pilot-Flying J truck stops.
A report released last month by Carbon War Room and Trimble said the trucking sector could save 624 million metric tons of CO2e2 by 2022 if US tractor-trailer fleet operators adopted seven currently available efficiency technologies.
More than 26 million trucks of all classes in the United States hauled more than nine billion tons of freight in 2010, consuming nearly 50 billion gallons of fuel and producing more than 402 million tons of CO2e emissions in the process, Carbon War Room said.
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KiwiRail rolling stock (foreground) and Toll New Zealand’s Dunedin yard are experiencing busier-than-usual import and export operations. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Dunedin rail and maritime freight movers are experiencing a busy start to retailers’ Christmas imports and the approaching peak season for primary produce exports.
Empty container storage throughout the city is filling up and large numbers of rail wagons are laden in sidings, in preparation for heading to Port Chalmers or further north.
KiwiRail reported an 18% increase in volumes for October, in total 130,402 tonnes of inbound and outbound freight, senior communications adviser Jenni Austin said.
“This year, we are certainly seeing more rail freight activity nationally than for the same time last year,” she said.
KiwiRail is geared up to increase volumes during seasonal variations, through spring and summer and the build-up to Christmas, by operating a high-season train schedule and using longer, fuller trains. She said recent changes to port visits by international shipping lines had some impact on increasing rail use.
Port Otago chief executive Geoff Plunket said the port’s peak export season, usually from December to May, was just starting and container movements were “slightly up” on a year ago, as Port Chalmers received some containers that would usually have gone through Timaru, which had recently dropped to two shipping lines.
He expected the peak of the season to be about February-March, when export meat joined dairy products and apple exports at the same time, which would be followed by timber exports, albeit more spread over the following months.
Empty containers were being stockpiled throughout the city in preparation for exporters’ use, including the dairy trade.
A spokesman for freight forwarders Toll said the usual Dunedin Christmas peak had started almost three weeks earlier than expected, anecdotally, because retailers were placing orders earlier to stock shelves.
“It’s being driven by retail competition, all for the Christmas and New Year sales,” he said.
He estimated that compared with the quietest winter month, December freight forwarding volumes into Dunedin could be up 50% or more. The peak ends immediately after Christmas, with January one of the quieter months for Toll.
Nissan is planning on selling cheaper versions of its Leaf electric vehicle, reports the Financial Times1. The company hopes the lower price will spark flagging sales that the newspaper describes as well below earlier Nissan forecasts. Nissan sold fewer than 12,000 Leafs (pictured) in the first half of 2012, which is an improvement over 2011 levels but still below the numbers needed to keep pace with the company s targeted 40,000 2012 sales, the FT reports.
Toronto s Delta Chelsea Hotel, Canada s largest hotel, has installed a publicly available electric vehicle charging station. The Sun Country Highway charging station works with cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles.
Smith Dairy Trucking unveiled a compressed natural gas fueling island in northern Ohio late this summer and is now making the station available to other fleets. Designed for 18-wheeler traffic, the privately owned station in Orrville, Ohio, primarily services the six CNG-dedicated freightliner tractor trucks in the Smith Dairy fleet but will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for other trucks, the company announced.
British Gas has become the exclusive supplier of electric vehicle charging products for Mitsubishi Motors in the UK. Customers of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK will have access to a range of British Gas charging products, and British Gas says it can provide customers with a dedicated circuit, protecting their home electrical supply from overload, from 375 ($600). Alternatively, British Gas can install a wall-mounted charging solution from 799, which cuts charging time by around a third, the automaker says. Customers in London, the East of England, the Midlands and Milton Keynes may be eligible for a free Chargemaster Homecharge i unit, Mitsubishi says.
Driver performance management firm GreenRoad has released what it calls the world s first smartphone-based driver performance solution for fleets. GreenRoad Smartphone Edition, code-named Asimov, uses smartphone native technology, including GPS and built-in accelerometers, to eliminate the need for a professionally installed telematics device in the vehicle. Drivers use the service by downloading the Asimov app, dropping the smartphone into the vehicle mount and beginning their trip. It is available now in beta for Android devices.
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The export outlook for Asia is suddenly looking much improved, with analysts buzzing about a single number that points to bullish Christmas-season shipments.
Data released Thursday on China s port shipments in September beat market expectations, and even point to improving momentum for the export sector.
Cargo-container shipments jumped 11% for the month from a year earlier, picking up from gains on 5% year-on-year for July and August, according to data from the Ministry of Transport.
The growth in container shipments was surprisingly positive, according to Daiwa Capital Markets analysts, who said it indicates upbeat consumer trends heading into the all-important Christmas shopping season.
According to our discussions with shipping companies, the strong September growth should imply good Christmas orders this year, Daiwa analyst Kelvin Lau said in a note Friday.
Uwe Parpart, chief strategist and head of research with Reorient Group, told a local radio program Friday in Hong Kong that he also viewed the trade statistic as evidence of an improving recovery momentum in the Chinese economy.
He added that the International Monetary Fund s announcement earlier this week that it had lowered its forecast for China s 2012 growth should be read by investors as a contrary indicator.
Daiwa said it was advising its clients to seek out beneficiaries of recovering trade. The broker named shipping lines Orient Overseas International Ltd. and Neptune Orient Lines Ltd., along with air-cargo carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., as among its favored selections.