Trailer Technologies for Increased Heavy-Duty Vehicle Efficiency: Technical, Market, and Policy Considerations
This paper reviews fuel-saving technologies for commercial trailers, provides an overview of the trailer market in the U.S., and explores options for policy measures at the federal level that can promote the development and deployment of trailers with improved efficiency. For trailer aerodynamics, there are many technologies that exist and are in development to target each of the three primary areas where drag occurs: 1) the tractor-trailer gap, 2) the side and underbody of the trailer, and 3) the rear end of the trailer. In addition, there are tire technologies and weight reduction opportunities for trailers, which can lead to reduced rolling resistance and inertial loss. As with the commercial vehicle sector, the trailer market is diverse, and there are a variety of sizes and configurations that are employed to meet a wide range of freight demands.