*Truck drivers contribute 40% to global oil demand growth
*Accounts for almost 17million b/d
07 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Even as the world keeps nagging about the glut in the international oil market, the International Energy Agency, IEA, thinks this is the right time for local truck drivers in countries around the world, Nigeria inclusive, to key into the excesses, and make more money for themselves.
According to IEA, the road freight sector is both a key enabler of economic activity and a key source of energy demand, oil in particular,
Trucks rely almost exclusively on oil-based fuels.
Trucks are the second largest source of global oil demand, following passenger cars and at a similar level as the entire industry sector, IEA said.
Road freight is the largest source of global diesel demand, at around half of the global total.
However, with this high dependency of the truck on oil, comes environmental concerns.
Globally, more than one-third of transport-related CO2 emissions, and 7% of total energy-related CO2 come from road freight transport.
IEA says improving the efficiency of road freight transport is critical to reducing the growth in oil demand, carbon emissions and air pollution over the next decades.
Trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport fuel consumption, as well as rising carbon dioxide and air pollution emissions.
But the sector gets far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles.
Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with about 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standard, according to IEA.
Despite this, the growth in oil demand from trucks has outgrown all other sectors- including passenger cars, aviation, industry, and petrochemical feedstocks- since 2000 and contributed 40% to global oil demand growth, a similar contribution as cars, according to IEA data.
Today, trucks account for almost a fifth of global oil demand, or around 17 million barrels per day, equivalent to the combined oil production of the United States and Canada, IEA data shows.
It also accounts for about half of global diesel use, a third of all transport-related carbon emissions and fifth of NOx emissions, a key air pollutant.
The main drivers of oil demand from trucks today, are the U.S, the European Union, and China, while India is emerging as a growth contributor.
Economic growth particularly in Asia will continue to boost oil demand from trucking in the future, IEA said.
Trucks are a key enabler of global economic activity and play an essential role in delivering goods or commodities across every point of the economic value chain, from production to sale, even in Nigeria.
But if action is not taken, oil truck drivers, oil demand from the road is projected to grow by 5 million barrels per day by 2050, or around 40 percent of the projected increase in global oil demand in that period. This growth will lead to a significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 900 million tons through 2050, or about the same level of emission of nearly 900 million tons through 2050, or about the same level of emissions growth as from coal use in the power and the entire industry sector combined.
To address the rise of emissions, IEA said a sustainable policy pathway for truck transport that could reduce energy use in road freight by 50% and emissions by 75% by 2050.
“For far too long, there has been a lack of policy focus on truck fuel efficiency. Given they are now the dominant driver of global oil demand, the issue can no longer be ignored if we are to meet out energy and environmental objectives,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.
According to IEA, for oil truck drivers in countries such as Nigeria to get maximum benefits on the job, the sector should improve logistics and systems operations in order to be more efficient. This includes near-term routing, as well as real-time feedback devices that monitor the on-road fuel economy of trucks.
For the above to be successful, IEA says it will require increased cooperation, as well as the exchange of data, information, and assets across the entire supply chain. This can help increase the volume or weight of cargo hauled to improve the load on each trip, but also reduce the number of trips during which trucks are running empty, such as travel taken without any load at all after having delivered the goods.
It also said that energy-efficiency improvements for the existing fleet should include aerodynamic retrofits to reduce drag as well as low-rolling resistance tires. New trucks can use additional technologies that cut idling, use lightweight materials and take advantage of improvements to truck engines, transmissions, and drivetrains. Achieving stronger cuts in fuel use, carbon dioxide, and pollutant emissions requires the use of hybrids and zero-emission trucks.
Finally, using alternative fuels such as natural gas, biofuels, electricity or complex, many can be easily accomplished in the near-term by strong policy support, according to the report. Some of these opportunities include tightening fuel-economy standards, making better use of data and providing support for research and development into alternative fuels.