Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Propsed First-Ever Fuel Efficiency Standards For Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

Here's the story from The Detroit News:
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington— The Obama administration today proposed the first ever fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also is seeking emissions reductions of between 10 and 20 percent from the nation's largest vehicles.

The administration said the proposal, to be made final next year, will eliminate nearly 250 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of vehicles produced within the program's first five years.

The rules will apply to the largest vehicles on the roads, including semi-trucks, buses, delivery vans, garbage trucks and heavy-duty work trucks. They will add $7.7 billion in added costs to new vehicles - or between $225 to $1,400 per year for heavy duty pickup and vans - to up to $6,150 for new tractor trailers.

"These new standards are another step in our work to develop a new generation of clean, fuel-efficient American vehicles that will improve our environment and strengthen our economy," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

EPA and NHTSA proposed new standards for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles.

For combination tractors, the agencies are proposing engine and vehicle standards that begin in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions and fuel consumption by the 2018 model year.

For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the agencies are proposing separate gasoline and diesel truck standards, which begin to phase in starting in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 10 percent reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15 percent reduction for diesel vehicles by 2018 model year (12 and 17 percent respectively, if accounting for air conditioning leakage).

For vocational vehicles, the agencies are proposing engine and vehicle standards starting in the 2014 model year which would achieve up to a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by 2018 model year.

Overall, NHTSA and EPA estimate that the heavy-duty national program would provide $49 billion in benefits - or $41 net benefits over the lifetime of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles after subtracting the costs of the vehicles.

Drivers would see fuel efficiency gains of seven to 20 percent. For example, it is estimated an operator of a semi tractor trailer could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and save as much as $74,000 over the truck's life.

"Through new fuel-efficiency standards for trucks and buses, we will not only reduce transportation's environmental impact, we'll reduce the castoff transporting freight," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This is a win-win-win for the environment, businesses and the American consumer."

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