EPA Proposes New Emissions, Economy Standards For Heavy Trucks
Agency Claims Added Costs Will Be Recouped by Fuel Savings
The Obama administration has been one of the most proactive in advancing an environmental agenda, overseeing the implementation of stricter fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Now the administration is focusing on commercial transport to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, with a proposal that would start impacting the industry starting in 2018, with engine requirements implemented between 2021 and 2027. Heavy trucks comprise only five percent of the vehicles on the road but account for up to 20 percent of emissions.
Often when new regulations come up, the industry cries foul and claims the financial impact of compliance will devastate the industry. The EPA is claiming it invited input from many industry sources and that fuel savings will offset any compliance costs, claiming the cost increase over current trucks would be recouped within two years.
As expected, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and its heavy-duty division American Truck Dealers (ATD) released a statement expressing its concerns on the proposed regulations:
“Recent history has shown that mandates with underestimated compliance costs result in substantially higher prices for commercial vehicles, and force fleet owners and operators to seek out less-expensive and less fuel-efficient alternatives in the marketplace. While supportive of affordable fuel-economy improvements, ATD is closely reviewing the proposal and the man potential impacts it will have on truck dealerships and their customers.”
Regulations affecting trailer design will be phased in starting in 2018, with recommended technologies such as aerodynamic enhancements, self-inflating tires, and lightweight materials. The engine regulations will apply to semi-trucks, large pickups, and vans (over 8,500 GVW) and buses and work trucks. A 24-percent reduction in greenhouse gases and fuel consumption is targeted under the new regulations. A public comment period of 60 days will open after publication in the federal register.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NADA/ATD