The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added an Elite level category for 53-foot dry van or refrigerated trailers to its SmartWay program, which the agency said will result in greater fuel savings and fewer emissions than the original category.

Elite products save at least 10 percent in fuel over base vehicles. That includes one percent for low-rolling-resistance tires and 9 percent for SmartWay-verified aerodynamic devices. Fleet operators will need to use two or more devices, such as nose treatments, side skirts and tail devices, to reach the figure. The EPA said a typical tractor using a SmartWay Elite trailer could save about 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel annually.

SmartWay Trailers result in fuel savings of 6 percent or greater and use one or more SmartWay-verified aerodynamic devices totaling at least 5 percent fuel savings. The EPA said SmartWay Trailers result in fuel savings of about 1,000 gallons annually.

Fleet Operators Turn to CNG for Even Greater Fuel Savings

To achieve even greater fuel savings, some fleet operators are utilizing natural gas engines. Penske Truck Leasing has compressed natural gas Freightliner Cascadia tractors available in select markets. Fleet operators can learn more about CNG vehicles in this six-minute video.

Summary of EPA-designated SmartWay Trailer Configurations

SmartWay Trailers SmartWay Elite Trailers
Trailer Types 53-foot box trailers (either dry vans or refrigerated trailers) used for long haul operations 53-foot box trailers (either dry vans or refrigerated trailers) used for long haul operations
Aerodynamic Devices One or more SmartWay-verified aerodynamic devices totaling at least 5 percent fuel savings Combination of two or more SmartWay-verified aerodynamic devices totaling at least 9 percent fuel savings
Low-rolling-resistance Tires SmartWay-verified low-rolling resistance tires totaling at least 1 percent fuel savings SmartWay-verified low-rolling resistance tires totaling at least 1 percent fuel savings
Total Fuel Savings 6 percent or greater 10 percent or greater
Per Trailer Annual Fuel Savings Approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel per year Approximately 1,700 gallons of diesel per year

Penske Shows its Support of U.S. EPA SmartWay Program

Penske Truck Leasing has been a SmartWay affiliate partner since 2008. For five straight years, from 2013 through 2017, Penske Truck Leasing was named a winner of the EPA's SmartWay Affiliate Challenge Award.

The SmartWay Affiliate Challenge is a national challenge developed by the EPA to acknowledge organizations that participate in SmartWay and that do an exceptional job in supporting the partnership's freight sustainability goals.

To promote the SmartWay Transport Partnership, Penske:

  • Assisted customers with modeling and completion of the program's tools and helped them establish fuel economy and emissions benchmarking that correlate with SmartWay Carrier Performance Rankings
  • Conducted ongoing education and introduction of customers to join SmartWay
  • Hosted educational events for customers via webinars, one-on-one education and strategy sessions
  • Attended and presented at sustainability conferences, college symposiums and other transportation industry events

In the logistics category, Penske Logistics ranks in the top 40 percent among other logistics SmartWay Partners in CO2, NOx and Particulate Matter emissions on a grams/mile basis. More than 75 percent of the freight Penske Logistics manages is transported using a SmartWay partner, ensuring our customers that they are partnering with companies committed to efficiency and continuous improvement.

April 2015 / Updated May 2018