As part of their efforts to combat climate change, the Obama administration announced new fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty vehicles that include garbage trucks, long-haul tractors and trailers, and school buses. Although these medium- and heavy-duty vehicles account for only 5% of the total highway traffic, they constitute 20% of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
According to administration officials, they expect to reduce more than 1 billion tons of carbon pollution in the coming years. In addition, they could save around $170 billion in fuel costs and minimise oil consumption by 84 billion gallons.
Glen Kedzie of the American Trucking Associations underscored that manufacturers have 10 years to comply. Therefore, vehicle models from 2019 to 2027 will have to meet the emission standards. The new rules will also require heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans to become 2.5% more efficient every year from 2021 to 2027. Aside from that, regulators will mandate tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, and school buses to lessen emissions by 25%.
To improve tractor-trailers’ fuel economy, manufacturing companies will have to use lighter-weight materials and engineer more aerodynamic designs. More efficient diesel engines will also be on play.
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, developed the regulations in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. McCarthy states that the standards promote a new generation of trucks by employing advanced cost-effective technologies.
Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts, commended the action. “I think it’s a win for industry because it’s going to save industry money,” she said. “And it’s a win for consumers because costs will increase at a slower pace. And it’s a win for the environment because you’re reducing pollution.”
“It’s good for business; it’s good for the environment; it’s good for our economy overall,” says Brian Mormino, Executive Director of Environmental Strategy and Compliance at Cummins Inc. He informs that fuel costs are a top expense so companies welcome any opportunity that allows for improved efficiency.
Pepsi, Waste Management, Walmart, and FedEx have all supported and endorsed the move.