EPA and DOT Finalize New Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks
EPA and DOT recently announced the finalization of joint standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s(DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced the finalization of joint standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The final phase-two standards were called for by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and respond to the president’s directive in early 2014 to develop new standards that run into the next decade.
The final phase-two program promotes a new generation of cleaner, more fuel-efficient trucks by encouraging the wider application of currently available technologies and the development of new and advanced cost-effective technologies through model year 2027. The final standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. Overall, the program is expected to provide $230 billion in net benefits to society, including benefits to our climate and public health.
“The actions we take today on climate change will help lessen the impacts on future generations,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator. “This next phase of standards for heavy- and medium-duty vehicles will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while driving innovation, and will ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in developing fuel-efficient technologies through the next decade and beyond.”
The agencies are also finalizing fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for trailers for the first time. The EPA trailer standards, which exclude certain categories such as mobile homes, will begin to take effect in model year 2018 for certain trailers. NHTSA’s standards will take effect as of 2021, with credits available for voluntary participation before then. Recognizing that many trailer manufacturers are small businesses, the program includes provisions that reduce burden, such as a one-year delay in initial standards for small businesses and simplified certification requirements.
The product of four years of extensive testing and research and outreach to industry, environmental organizations, labor unions, and other stakeholders, the vehicle and engine performance standards would cover model years 2021-2027, and apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. These standards reportedly will result in significant GHG emissions reductions and fuel efficiency improvements across all of these vehicle types.