U.S. to release new fuel-efficiency standards for medium, heavy-duty trucks

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 21, 2010

The Obama administration will “soon” announce details of proposed fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks that would start in 2014 and extend through 2018, according to a report from The Detroit News.

Last May, President Barack Obama inked a memorandum that ordered the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to co-write the first-ever fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Back then, Obama had talked about the possibility within the next 20 years for vehicles to “use half the fuel and produce half the pollution that they do today."

In The Detroit News report, Margo Oge, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, confirmed that there will be an announcement as early as Monday.

The paper also said that as heavy-duty trucks make up a large percentage of emissions (with the heaviest consuming over 2 million barrels of oil daily and average 6.1 mpg and emit 20% of the greenhouse gases from the transportation sector), this new proposal could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 250 million metric tons over five years.

This proposal, which covers medium- and heavy-duty trucks, is part of a larger White House initiative that includes standards for more fuel-efficient cars and light-duty trucks, including a 62 mpg fuel economy standard for light-vehicle fleets by 2025.

The existing rules require a fleetwide fuel-efficiency average of 34.1 mpg by 2016 for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Under the new rules, companies will be urged to replace old diesel engines with new, cleaner diesels. Since 2005, the government already has spent a total of $200 million on the effort. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: united states

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