August 10, 2011

New Efficiency Standards For Heavy-Duty Trucks Set

The White House introduced a new set of efficiency standards on Tuesday that requires medium and heavy-duty trucks to have better fuel economy.

According to the White House, the new rules will save $50 billion in fuel costs from 2014 to 2018 and will reduce oil imports by 530 million barrels.

The government said that the new standards will also cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 270 million tons.

One of the new rules will require engine manufacturers to increase efficiency and another will be geared at the fuel economy of trucks in different categories.

An announcement earlier this month said that fuel efficiency ratings for cars and light trucks will push the average fuel economy to over 50 miles per gallon.

"We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks," Obama said in the statement. "They were from the people who build, buy and drive these trucks. And today, I'm proud to have the support of these companies."

Truck and engine makers will be expected to meet the new regulations by making incremental improvements with existing technologies.

According to a Bloomberg report, by 2018, there will be a 23 percent reduction in fuel consumption for semi-trucks, while heavy-duty trucks and vans will become about 15 percent more efficient.

The American Truckers Association issued a statement today in favor of the new rules because they reduce oil imports, greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel costs. 

The association also called for a 65 mile per hour speed limit to help reduce congestion.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, told Bloomberg that U.S. trucks consume about 22 billion gallons of diesel each year.

"Because of the sheer magnitude of commercial vehicles operating in the United States, this regulation has the potential to result in significant environmental and energy- efficiency gains," Schaeffer said.

The standards issued last month for cars and light trucks will not go into effect until 2025.


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