The white house issued an announcement on Tuesday that the administration has started developing the next round of higher fuel efficiency standards for commercial trucks. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles with a model year after 2018 will have new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas standards.
The EPA and DOT have been directed to produce a rule by March of 2015 which will continue the trend of raising standards for heavy trucks that began with the 2014-2018 requirements – the first ever fuel efficiency standards imposed on heavy-duty trucks in the United States.
According to statistics presented by USA Today, heavy-duty trucks account for just 4% of all registered vehicles on the road, but use 25% of all road-fuel and emit 25% of all greenhouse gases caused by transportation.
The 2014-2018 requirements will reportedly save the trucking industry $50 billion in fuel costs. According to the White House, the next round will save the average truck owner $73,000 over the typical lifetime of a truck.
Despite the apparent advantages of more fuel efficient vehicles, some in the industry are wary of the new requirements being placed on truck manufacturers. Bill Graves, President of the ATA, said that though the rules makes sense in theory, rushing the rules could lead to problems.
“Fuel is one of our industry’s largest expenses, so it makes sense that as an industry we would support proposals to use less of it,” Graves said in an interview with The Washington Post. “However, we should make sure that new rules don’t conflict with safety or other environmental regulations, nor should they force specific types of technology onto the market before they are fully tested and ready.”
The new fuel standards for heavy and medium trucks will come hand in hand with new standards on light vehicles as well. The administration has already issued new standards that will double fuel efficiency in light vehicles and trucks by 2025 which is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day.