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A significant factor affecting fuel use is aerodynamic resistance, commonly known as drag. Studies by the Rocky Mountain Institute and others have shown that drag is a large factor in fuel use, and that a reduction in drag will reduce fuel consumption at both urban and highway speeds. For tractor-trailer combinations, about 70% of drag is due to the trailer.

envirotruck_features_glencoe.jpgSome of the devices heavy-duty commercial trucking can consider to reduce drag include:


  • Low-drag bumpers
  • Special wheel flaps
  • Wake boards
  • Aerodynamic mirrors
  • Centre and rear chassis fairings
  • Under-hood air cleaners
  • Full roof fairings


  • Tractor-trailer gap fairings
  • Trailer side skirts (fairings)
  • Trailer tails
  • Aerodynamic mirror design

Many OEM and aftermarket manufacturers are selling these devices today. For a look at the experience of BC fleets piloting some of these technologies, see Fleet Experiences.

Learn More

For more on aerodynamics, see: Truck Efficiency and GHG Reduction Opportunities in the Canadian Truck Fleet (2007): a report of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Also see a May 2003 article on highlights of a US Lawrence Livermore Labs analysis on the impact of drag on fuel efficiency in large tractor-trailer combinations: “Reducing Aerodynamic Drag”.

A recent Freight Wing study on trailer fairings showed that this aerodynamic feature could offer a 6.4% savings in fuel consumption and pay for itself in 1.1 to 2.2 years.

E3 Fleet Partners

The E3 Fleet program reflects the commitment and expertise of many people, including some of the country’s most innovative fleet managers. All have a common passion – to see Canada’s fleets take a cleaner, green road to the future.

The Fraser Basin Council launched E3 Fleet in 2006 in cooperation with Climate Change Central (Alberta) and Fleet Challenge. Since October 2016, the program has been managed by Fleet Challenge Inc.

The E3 Fleet Charter members were also pivotal to its success: Auto-Gas Propane, BC Hydro, BC Ministry of Environment, City of Coquitlam, Corporation of Delta, Enbridge, City of Hamilton, Hydro One, City of Kelowna, Township of Langley, District of Maple Ridge, City of North Vancouver, Novex Couriers, City of Prince George, District of Saanich, University of BC and Municipality of Whistler. We’ve enjoyed the journey so far, and it’s only just begun. Join us!

E3 Fleet in Brief

E3 Fleet is a Canada-wide program that helps public and private sector organizations green up their vehicle fleets.

E3 Fleet offers information and tools to help you increase fuel efficiency in your fleet, reduce harmful emissions, manage expenses, and incorporate new technologies, fuels and best management practices. We offer Fleet Review and Fleet Rating, unique opportunities for you to boost fleet performance and receive recognition for that achievement.

Reach Us

For more information on Fleet Challenge and the E3 Fleet Standards program, contact:

Roger Smith
Executive Director
Fleet Challenge and E3 Fleet Program

T: 416 418-9931

Jana Cervinka

Director, Communications and External Relations
T: 954 299 5885