New smart tech programme aims to reduce HGV emissions in Ireland

11 Aug 2021

Alexandra Hamilton of 3cea and Robert Steele of Corcra. Image: Dylan Vaughan

By installing technology to reduce inefficiencies, the Greener HGV Programme could lower carbon emissions by 10pc per vehicle.

A new initiative will see 1,000 heavy good vehicles (HGVs) in Ireland fitted with technology in a bid to help drivers reduce carbon emissions by 10pc and save up to 10pc on their fuel costs.

The Greener HGV Programme is a joint initiative from 3 Counties Energy Agency (3cea) and Corcra Ltd. The project received €1.4m in funding from the Climate Action Fund, which is a Project Ireland 2040 investment fund intended to improve infrastructure in the country and support projects working to reduce carbon emissions.

In a pilot study conducted by Kilkenny-based 3cea, it calculated a potential saving of €17,000 per vehicle across a five-year period. This could be achieved through reducing certain habits, such as over-revving, harsh braking and engine idling. The amount of CO2 saved by this process was also calculated to be equivalent to removing 866 cars from Irish roads for one year.

The Greener HGV Programme will run for two years, during which time 3cea will handle the coordination of the subsidy grants available for Irish fleet companies to install the necessary technology. It will also be responsible for providing training.

By using data collected from the programme’s technology alongside improving driving culture, the initiative hopes to see a considerable reduction in the carbon footprints and fuel costs of participating businesses.

Smart telematics technology is key to this programme. This includes tracking, fuel monitoring, remote tachograph downloads and compliance software, live footage cameras and driver awareness panels.

Irish fleet communications company Corcra ran its own study using similar conditions to the Greener HGV Programme, where it achieved a 15.4pc increase in fuel efficiency in participating vehicles over a three-year period.

“We use the hardware to gather real-time data, which allows us to record baseline driver and vehicle information. After approximately six weeks, the data is analysed and we arrange the professional driver training and activate the in-cab driver awareness panel, which is a driver aid,” said Robert Steele from Corcra.

“The new technology with gained knowledge from the driver training helps drivers to achieve more efficient driving and long-term sustainable energy practices.

“Techniques that reduce engine revolutions can have a major impact on the vehicles’ fuel consumption and therefore its CO2 emissions. The project received final approvals in April and to date, we have fitted and commenced baseline data gathering on around 100 HGVs.”

Eligible companies can apply to the programme and, if accepted, can receive a grant to pay for 30pc of associated costs for the necessary software and hardware.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news