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Improving Fuel-Efficiency Standards for Trucks

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation plan to introduce standards for improving the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks, buses and vans by model year 2014.

| October 29, 2010

  • 18-Wheeler
    According to the EPA, the heavy-duty vehicle sector — from the largest pickups to 18-wheelers — emits about 20 percent of U.S. transportation emissions.

  • 18-Wheeler

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Oct. 25 the first U.S. standards to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses, beginning with the model year 2014.

The standards are projected to reduce emissions by about 250 million metric tons and to save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. The heavy-duty sector, from the largest pickups to 18-wheelers, emits about 20 percent of U.S. transportation emissions, according to the EPA.

EPA and DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing new standards for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors (the semi trucks that typically pull trailers), 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 20 percent reductions in both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by the 2018 model year.

For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, the agencies are seeking separate gasoline and diesel truck standards, which phase in starting in the 2014 model year and achieve up to 10 percent reductions for gasoline vehicles and 15 percent reductions for diesel vehicles by the 2018 model year.

Lastly, for vocational vehicles, EPA and DOT are requesting engine and vehicle standards starting in the 2014 model year that would achieve up to 10 percent reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by the 2018 model year.

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