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Project Drawdown, Daniel Kane, Ruth Metzel; Senior Fellows: Mamta Mehra, Eric Toensmeier, Ariani Wartenberg; Senior Director: Chad Frischmann


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus


Efficient Trucks

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  • This resource details the potential climate benefits of adopting efficient trucks in the freight industry.
  • Students will learn about current trucking emissions, the impact of trucks, fuel usage, adoption scenarios, and the specific changes that can be made if efficient trucks are adopted in the near future.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is written and structured in a clear and meaningful way that will enable students to interact with complex ideas. 
  • The data presented in the article will allow students to draw their own conclusions or integrate their learning into other related topics.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand the impacts of fossil fuel consumption and efficiency. 


  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in economics, civics, and math classes by discussing how potential economic incentives and governmental impacts could increase adoption of this measure, or by using the data included in the article to create real-world math problems. 
  • This resource would be an excellent component in an activity where students read about and debate different climate solutions. Break students into groups and assign each group an article from Project Drawdown, then have the groups explain the importance, results, and potential impacts of their article's topic.
  • As an extension, have students use the "What You Can Do" section of the article to advocate for more efficient trucks in their communities or from companies that they support. 
Scientist Notes
This website introduces a solution to reducing emissions by making transport trucks more efficient. A brief introduction of reducing emissions by making new trucks more efficient and retrofitting existing fleet trucks is included. Methodology, scenarios, and models are provided, along with results and discussion about shifting long-haul heavy truck industry to a more efficient model. This site would be a great addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods to reducing carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.8 Determine if the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
      • RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.
      • RST.11-12.10 By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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