WASHINGTON, D.C. — A comprehensive new program that targets fuel efficiency and pollution for trucks and buses is projected to save about $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program, according to the Obama administration.
President Obama is meeting today with industry officials to discuss the new standards, which were proposed in October. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the EPA developed the standards in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, the state of California, environmental groups and other stakeholders.
“Thanks to the Obama administration, for the first time in our history we have a common goal for increasing the fuel efficiency of the trucks that deliver our products, the vehicles we use at work and the buses our children ride to school,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector and promote energy independence for America.”
The administration said that under the new program, which relies heavily on off-the-shelf technologies, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by about 270 million metric tons.
The joint DOT/EPA program will include a range of targets specific to the diverse vehicle types and purposes. Vehicles are divided into three major categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (including buses, delivery trucks and refuse trucks). Within each of those categories, even more specific targets are laid out based on the design and purpose of the vehicle.
Vocational vehicles will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by about 10 percent by model year 2018. According to administration officials, these vehicles could save an average of one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.
Engine manufacturers quickly confirmed their support for the new standards.
Cummins said in a statement that it has “worked proactively on the regulation with a wide range of stakeholders over the past several years and is already developing the clean and efficient technology that will be needed to comply.”
Rich Freeland, Cummins vice president and president of its engine business, added that the regulation “will add real value for our customers as better fuel economy lowers their operating costs while significantly benefitting the environment."
Navistar Chairman, President and CEO Daniel Ustian commended the EPA and NHTSA for developing a single national standard for greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel efficiency.
“We were pleased to be part of the process providing the agencies with information on the positive impact of total vehicle technology integration on fuel efficiency and GHG emissions,” Ustian said, adding that Navistar has plans in place to deliver “integrated truck and engine technology solutions that achieve maximum fuel economy for our customers.”