U.S. Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards Finalized - Global Trade Magazine
  August 19th, 2016 | Written by

U.S. Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards Finalized

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  • Truck fuel efficiency standards creates jobs, saves money across supply chains.
  • Trucking: an engine of the U.S. economy.
  • Trucking hauls 70 percent of all freight in the U.S.

The Obama administration finalized fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks and tractor trailers for the model years 2021 to 2027 this week.

The standards finalize the second phase of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles which are part of the 2013 Climate Action Plan.

“The trucking sector is an engine of the U.S. economy,” said a White House statement. “It hauls about 70 percent of all freight in this country, and is also our nation’s second largest segment of U.S. transportation in terms of emissions and energy use.”

The final standards will promote a new generation of cleaner and more fuel efficient trucks, according to the administration. Over one-billion fewer tons of CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere, and operators will save two-billion barrels of oil and $170 billion in fuel costs. The additional cost of a new truck will be recouped within two to four years, saving truck owners more over the long haul.

These standards will modernize America’s trucking fleet, according to the administration, cut costs for truckers, and help ensure the U.S trucking industry is a global leader in fuel efficient heavy duty vehicle technology.

“We developed the standards to allow multiple technological pathways to compliance,” the statement said, “so that manufacturers can choose the technologies they believe are right for their products, their customers, and the market.”

The government’s technical analysis showed that the required five-percent efficiency improvement in diesel engines by 2027 is feasible, cost effective, and will lead to continued carbon emissions reductions. To ensure a smooth transition, the engine standards are designed with substantial lead times, a gradual phase-in over the course of nine years, and expanded emissions credit flexibilities that allow manufacturers to tailor their own phase-in schedule.

All this will enable manufacturers to develop and implement technologies that ensure reliability, and that are sound investments for the trucking industry. And for the first time, the rules will cover trailers as well as tractors—ensuring that innovation will continue into aerodynamic features, next generation tires and other features so that trailers can contribute to fuel and emissions savings.

“This standard grows our economy by improving the efficiency of a vital American industry,” said Nicole Lederer, chair and co-founder of the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs. “But the standard goes beyond saving money for truckers. It also saves money for businesses up and down supply chains, drives innovation and creates jobs in the advanced vehicle sector.”

According to a recently-released E2 report, nearly 170,000 Americans work in the advanced vehicle industry in the U.S. The report asserts that job growth in advanced vehicles is due in part to the Obama administration’s fuel efficiency standards.