The trucking industry has been hit with another set of fuel standards, President Obama announced on Tuesday he would tighten fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2014-2018 model heavy-duty trucks in an effort to drive down the price of fuel at the pump.
Obama has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to produce a rule by March 31, 2016, to develop and issue new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards. The EPA and NHTSA will “assess engine and powertrain improvements, aerodynamics, weight reduction, improved tires, automatic engine shutdown, and improving accessories such as water pumps and fans, as well as hybrid technologies.”
Although heavy-duty trucks account for just 4% of registered vehicles on the road in the US, they account for approximately 25% of road-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, according to the White House.
OOIDA has come out against the regulations, stating that it may force many carriers to keep older trucks to avoid buying new equipment. OOIDA pointed out that “first-stage” fuel efficiency standards released in 2011 added $6,200 to the price of model year 2014-2018 trucks covered by those standards. These new fuel standards may continue to drive up the price of new trucks.
The Obama administration argues that although the cost for new trucks will be higher, the new standards will reduce fuel expenses and life-cycle costs, which will extend the life of a truck and reduce total cost of ownership. The White House expects the first round of fuel efficiency standards to save the trucking industry $50 billion in addition to 530 million barrels of oil.
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