Feds announce truck fuel efficiency standards
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced the first national standards to improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses.
Standards also would reduce trucks' carbon dioxide emissions.
The agencies are proposing new standards for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles.
For combination tractors, standards will start with year 2014 models and will achieve up to a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption by 2018, according to the DOT and EPA.
For heavy-duty vans and pickups, the agencies are proposing separate gas and diesel standards, with phase-in starting in the 2014 model year. A 10% to 15% reduction is expected for gas vehicles. Meanwhile, a 15% reduction is expected for diesel vehicles.
"Lastly, for vocational vehicles, the agencies are proposing engine and vehicle standards starting in the 2014 model year, which would achieve up to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by the 2018 model year," say DOT officials.
Overall, the DOT and EPA believe that the new standards will provide $41 billion "in net benefits over the lifetime of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles."
In addition, "the innovative technologies fostered by this program would also yield economic benefits, enhance energy security and improve air quality. New technologies include widespread use of aerodynamic improvements and tire rolling resistance, as well as engine and transmission upgrades."