Eco-driving to Reduce Freight GHG Emissions in the Greater Mekong Subregion
Truck drivers from over 100 freight companies in Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam have undergone eco-driving training as the Green Freight Initiative tests ways to lessen the environmental impacts of freight transport in the GMS.
An eco-driver curriculum was tailored for each of the three countries in late 2015 and rolled out this year to 300 drivers through a series of theoretical and practical trainings during May to July. The drivers learned eco-driving techniques such as accelerating slowly, cruising at more moderate speeds, idling less, and avoiding sudden breaking. Good practice before journeys was also emphasized such as choosing appropriate routes and conducting vehicle checks; especially tire pressure, cargo, and aerodynamics.
Eco-driver training has been increasingly applied globally in recent years as countries look to reduce high GHG emissions from transport. Eco-driving can also decrease local pollution, lessen fuel and maintenance costs, and lower accident rates.
The Green Freight Initiative’s aim was to test fuel efficiency gains when eco-driver training is applied to small-medium road freight companies. Such companies dominate road transport in the GMS, carrying around 80% of freighted goods.
Initial results from Lao PDR and Viet Nam showed that immediately after the training, the drivers averaged fuel savings of 7-8% compared to before. If maintained, this would equate to 3-4 tonnes less of carbon dioxide emitted per annum per truck in the two countries and would create a positive cost-benefit ratio. However, analysis indicated that fuel savings would likely reduce over time unless further training and incentives were provided as well as ongoing monitoring. Both countries have indicated they will integrate eco-driver elements into their standard driving curricula. Results from Thailand are still being compiled.
The training program for Lao PDR and Viet Nam was developed and delivered by Grutter Consulting, while in Thailand the Federation of Thai Industries was the implementing partner.
The Green Freight Initiative is also piloting other fuel efficiency initiatives in the three countries, including testing aerodynamic technologies and financial mechanisms to access these, as well as improving logistics management.
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Publish Date: 14th August 2016
Last Updated: 2nd September 2016