How Fleets Can Quickly Reduce Fleet Management and Fuel Costs with ClearFlame

January 26, 2023

With the many pressures facing trucking fleets today, directors, VPs, and managers of maintenance, fleets, procurement, and logistics are constantly looking for new fleet management ideas and innovative ways to reduce fuel costs and operating expenses. Here, we’ll look at five ways that ClearFlame technology can help fleets of all sizes – from large to small- and mid-sized fleets – do just this.

Fleets can switch to lower-cost, lower-carbon, renewable fuel

The first way fleets can reduce costs is by switching to a new type of fuel across the fleet. When fleets consider alternative fuels for trucking, options include low-carbon fuels like renewable diesel, sustainable diesel, synthetic fuels, liquid hydrogen, and more. The costs of these options are not always lower than diesel, distribution is not always available nationwide, and overall production capacity might not be sufficient at scale. One low-carbon fuel type, 100% E98 ethanol, is already distributed nationwide in large quantities, and could provide the most significant cost-savings for fleets.

A heavy-duty semi truck driving 100,000 miles per year could save over $36,0000 a year in fuel costs (based on prices in early December, 2022) by switching to ClearFlame, based on our fuel savings calculations . On a diesel gallon-equivalent (DGE) / energy-equivalent basis*, 100% E98 ethanol is over $2/gallon less expensive than diesel fuel. By substituting ethanol for diesel fuel in freight and trucking, this massive fuel cost savings can be reinvested in the business to strengthen the American trucking industry. 

Switching to ethanol can also channel money back into American economies since the fuel is procured through American agriculture and produced by farmers across the Midwest. These same farmers rely on trucking fleets for their supplies, so switching to ethanol creates a virtuous cycle of reinvestment and savings. Use this fleet fuel savings calculator tool to visualize how much fleets can save based on their size and miles driven.

Innovative new decarbonization technology can actually be a cost-cutting strategy

While many fleets are already considering switching from their internal combustion engines and adopting new technologies such as electrification, hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, and hybridization, these technologies can cost a great deal to implement and may not be widely available. 

But did you know innovative new heavy-duty truck engine decarbonization technology can also be a cost-cutting strategy for fleets? Technology like ClearFlame is empowering fleets to not only meet and exceed stringent new emissions goals but also slash fuel costs. ClearFlame technology quickly and cost-effectively modifies any existing diesel engine to run on widely-distributed and cost-effective 100% E98 ethanol while measurably slashing emissions. 

Based on a ClearFlame total cost of ownership study conducted by GNA Clean Transportation & Energy Consultants, fleets can realize about 42% lifecycle carbon reduction compared with diesel, and 22% lower than even battery electric vehicles based on the national average grid mix, by switching to ClearFlame.

The study also found that ClearFlame’s business model and technology results in a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) versus diesel and the current alternatives Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), and Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV). 

The report found, for instance, that ClearFlame’s cost per mile is expected to be 40% less than electric platforms and 30% less than hydrogen platforms.

The analysis—conducted in October 2021, when diesel fuel’s national average was just $3.48 per gallon—found that ClearFlame-enabled trucks would have a lower total cost of ownership than diesel by $0.08 per mile, lower than natural gas by $0.09 per mile, lower than electric by $0.97 per mile, and lower than hydrogen platforms by $0.61 per mile.

Request a copy of the report here.  

Mitigate future fleet management risks and fuel costs

Perhaps the most important way fleets can hedge against increased costs is to future-proof their business plans.  Most heavy-duty fleets are still operating on diesel, yet the price of diesel fuel fluctuates wildly and shortages are a constant threat. Let’s be clear: diesel not only exacerbates climate change, representing future environmental costs, it’s also a risky proposition when it comes to the future cost of fleet fuel. There’s no scenario in which diesel is part of a sustainable and enduring fuel plan for fleets.

With ClearFlame, fleets can quickly switch to more cost-effective E98 ethanol as a fuel source and won’t need to buy all new trucks, reinvent the wheel when it comes to maintenance, or switch to an expensive type of fuel. Fleets will also be empowered to break free from price fluctuations in the diesel market and hedge against future logjams in supply chains or shortages of diesel. Fleets won’t need all new mechanic training either – as they would with Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Any diesel mechanic can service and work on a ClearFlame engine. 

ClearFlame also helps fleets slash emissions and reduce air pollution. By reducing externalized environmental costs, fleets can help mitigate the risks and potential future costs of climate change: an essential business management strategy for any industry. 

 *Diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) is the volume of ethanol needed to produce the same amount of energy as one gallon of diesel fuel. 

**ClearFlame was allowed to comment on the study protocol and was provided with a report of the results. The study results were not impacted apart from suggestions for clarification.