Committed to the goal of doubling truck efficiency within 10 years, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) says it will create an independent organization to produce credible information and evaluations of technologies that promise significant fuel economy and efficiency gains for truck fleets.

The U.S. Council for Freight Efficiency will hold its first organizational meeting Nov. 3 at the Univ. of Chicago, according to RMI, a nonprofit research organization focused on energy and resources conservation. The meeting is open to all freight industry stakeholders, including truck OEMs, component suppliers, policy makers, research institutes and fleets, the organization said.

“The freight industry, and the trucking industry in particular, has been burned by a snake-oil salesman approach to technology,” said RMI principal Hiroko Kawai. “There is a lack of trustworthy information evaluating different technologies for fleets to make investment decisions. The same challenges are also shared by producers of technologies; they cannot accelerate the market adoption of their R&D efforts, and it is hard for them to lead the market even when they offer the necessary innovations."

The new council “will collect, assess, and circulate performance information from testing agencies and laboratories, collect marketing and user data, and provide understandable, up-to-date efficiency information to share with technology developers, council members, fleet owners, and truck drivers,” according to a press statement released today by RMI.

"The future of trucking efficiency is already here, it's just not well distributed," said Kawai. "We just don't have our version of 'Consumer Reports' in trucking. And fleets won't invest in new technologies and new trucks unless they know for sure that they'll get the payback. This will help provide the evidence of real-world economic benefits, and ultimately accelerate market adoption of these technologies."