EPA, DOT propose fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks

By |  July 6, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are jointly proposing standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution.

According to DOT, the proposed standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, cut fuel costs by about $170 billion and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.

In addition, the proposal includes separate engine standards that focus on engine efficiency and allow for direct measurement of engine emissions. The agencies are also proposing efficiency and GHG standards for trailers for the first time. The EPA’s trailer standards would begin to take effect in model year 2018 for certain trailers, while NHTSA’s standards would be in effect in 2021, with credits available for voluntary participation before then.

“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This rule will change that. 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 new standards would cover model years 2021-2027 and apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. A public comment period will be open for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Registrar, reports DOT. Also, NHTSA and EPA will host two public hearings and continue open-door meetings with stakeholders during the comment period.

The agencies plan to finalize the standards by 2016.

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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