A lot of discussion on emissions revolves around mitigation rather than optimization but researchers at TU Delft have shown that creating an improved aerodynamic shape for truck trailers by mounting sideskirts can lead to a cut in fuel consumption and emissions of up to as much as 15%.
Earlier promising predictions, based on mathematical models and wind tunnel tests have been confirmed during road tests with an adapted trailer. This means that public-private platform PART (Platform for Aerodynamic Road Transport), has produced an application which can immediately be put into production.
It is expected that the cost of fitting aerodynamically-shaped sideskirts will be recouped within two years. Furthermore, the sideskirts can be fitted to approximately half the trucks currently in use in the Netherlands as the skirts can also be retrofitted.