First Ever Fuel Standards for Heavy Trucks and Buses

Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration announced a new fuel efficiency standard for cars and light duty trucks that will increase fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by the year 2025.  On Tuesday, the White House announced the first ever fuel standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles.  The new national program estimates that trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by 530 million barrels.  Additionally, the program projects that greenhouse gas pollution will reduce by 270 million metric tons.

The program will be a joint venture between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).  Vehicles that fall under the program will be divided into three categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (transit buses and refuse trucks).  Each category will have specific standards and targets to ensure that the goals are not only effective, but achievable.

All together, the standards are anticipated to yield $50 billion in benefits over the life of the vehicles.  Combination tractors will be required to achieve up to 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018.  This would equate to a savings of up to 4 gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

The heavy duty pickup trucks and vans will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent by 2018, saving one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

Vocational vehicles, which include delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks, will be required to achieve up to 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018, also saving an average of one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

“This administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe and cutting carbon pollution – and programs like these ensure that we can serve those priorities while also reducing our dependence on imported oil and saving money for drivers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “More efficient trucks on our highways and less pollution from the buses in our neighborhoods will allow us to breathe cleaner air and use less oil, providing a wide range of benefits to our health, our environment and our economy.”

To learn more about the new standards, click here.

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