President Obama announced the first ever fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks and buses today. In this joint DOT and EPA effort starting with trucks and buses in the 2014 model year, these new standards will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.
In addition, EPA estimates the standards will improve air quality by reducing particulate matter and ozone, resulting in societal benefits ranging from about $1.3 billion to $4.2 billion in 2030.
Sierra Club Executive Michael Brune said, “Despite representing only 4 percent of all the vehicles on the road, the trucks covered by today’s announcement consume 20 percent of all on-road transportation fuel used each year, but have never been subject to federal fuel efficiency or carbon pollution standards.”
Heavy-duty vehicles account for 12 percent of all US oil consumption.
Semi trucks will be required to achieve up to approximately 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018.
Separate standards are required for gasoline-powered and diesel heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans. These vehicles will be required to achieve up to about 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018.
Delivery trucks, buses, and garbage trucks will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 percent by model year 2018.
A semi truck operator could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year and realize net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs over the truck’s useful life.
These regulations will also create jobs. In a study commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists, standards nearly identical to the ones finalized today could lead to a net increase of 40,000 jobs economy-wide in 2020 and nearly 80,000 jobs in 2030. The study also noted that reduced cost in shipping could increase wages for workers in these sectors.