Engine Control Module: Speed, Idling & RPM
Engine Control Modules (ECMs) are electronic controls units that have been installed on truck engines since the early 1990s to allow better control over performance and emissions.
A fleet manager can use a computer program to access the ECM and pull reports from engines via an engine scanner. The ECM can be used to improve fuel performance and cut emissions by:
Speeds in excess of 100 km per hour dramatically decrease a vehicle's fuel economy. A speed decrease of four to five km per hour results in a 4%-5% savings in fuel costs. Speed reduction can be achieved through driving practices and through electronic devices known as speed limiters.
In 2006 the BC Trucking Association, as part of a national trucking clean air plan, asked that speed limiters be set on trucks at no more than 105 km/hr. The Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have legislated use of speed limiters.
Transport Canada assessed the performance, safety and environmental impacts of speed limiters. The study found a national requirement for speed limiters could reduce annual fuel consumption by 228 million litres (1.4% of all on-road diesel used in 2006) and save the trucking industry up to $200 million. Annual GHG reductions were estimated at .64 megatonnes. The opportunities for savings were seen as coming primarily from Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. See: Summary Report – Assessment of a Heavy Truck Speed Limiter Requirement in Canada