In February of this year, the Obama Administration instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to propose and finalize a rule that will usher in the second phase of medium- and heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards. The EPA and NHTSA have until March 2015 to propose a rule and until March 2016 to finalize it. The resulting regulation will impact trucks from Model Year 2020 onward.
Upcoming fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks will impact vehicles from Model Year 2020 onward. Credit: NAFTC.
This second round of fuel efficiency standards will build on the first-ever standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (model years 2014 through 2018), which will save vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs and save a projected 530 million barrels of oil.
In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a comprehensive agenda to make America a magnet for middle class jobs and business investment. The president highlighted the autoworker, who he said “fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.” The president also pledged in the coming months to “build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.”
With the medium- and heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standards, the president hopes to bolster energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring manufacturing innovation.
Increasing the efficiency of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is a key component of the president’s Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions. Heavy-duty vehicles represent a major opportunity to cut transportation oil use and carbon pollution.
In 2010, heavy-duty vehicles represented just four percent of registered vehicles on the road in the United States, but they accounted for approximately 25 percent of on-road fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. They are currently the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation sector (passenger cars and light trucks are the largest source). The first round of standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, finalized in September 2011, is projected to save 530 million barrels of oil and reduce GHG emissions by approximately 270 million metric tons, saving vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicles covered.