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EPA Proposes Fuel Economy Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/19/2015 Kelly Pleskot
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed tough new fuel economy standards for Isuzu to Collaborate on Medium-Duty Commercial Trucks" target="_blank">medium and heavy-duty trucks, aiming to slash C02 emissions and fuel costs on some of the nation's largest vehicles.

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The proposed standards cover 2021-2027 model years and apply to semi trucks, large pickups, vans, and all types of buses and work trucks. The goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption by up to 24 percent compared to an equivalent 2018 model. Over the course of the lifetime of vehicles under the program, the standards are expected to slash carbon dioxide emissions by 1 billion metric tons, fuel costs by $170 billion, and oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels. These reductions are the rough equivalent of all greenhouse gas emissions produced by all U.S. residences in one year.

The EPA is giving automakers flexibility on the ways they can boost fuel economy in their vehicles. A range of technologies – including improved transmissions, more efficient gas engines, aerodynamic improvements, and low rolling resistance tires – are all methods that can help in reaching consumption targets. Standards for certain trailers will begin to take effect during the 2018 model year, and automakers who participate in the program early will get rewarded.

According to the EPA, medium and heavy-duty trucks comprise about 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions and oil use in the U.S. transportation sector, although they only make up about 5 percent of the vehicles on the road. Globally, emissions and oil consumption from heavy-duty vehicles are expected to surpass the amount created by passenger vehicles by the year 2030. But these new rules may brighten the dim-looking future.

“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a recent statement. “In fact, these efficiency standards are good for the environment – and the economy. When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It’s good news all around, especially for anyone with an online shopping habit.”

The EPA's proposal builds on fuel efficiency rules already in place for model year 2014-2018 vehicles. These standards were set up to reduce emissions by 270 million metric tons and save drivers more than $50 billion in fuel costs.

Source: EPA

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