New goals set to reduce gas consumption of big rigs, semi-trucks, buses & pickups
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards.
Under the comprehensive new national program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. Like the administration’s recently announced new car gas-per-mile standards, this program — which relies heavily on off-the-shelf technologies — was developed in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, the State of California, environmental groups and other stakeholders.
The joint DOT/EPA program will include a range of targets that are specific to the diverse vehicle types and purposes. Vehicles are divided into three major categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (like transit buses and refuse trucks). Within each of those categories, even more specific targets are laid out based on the design and purpose of the vehicle. This flexible structure allows serious but achievable fuel efficiency improvement goals charted for each year and for each vehicle category and type.
By the 2018 model year, the program is expected to achieve significant savings relative to current levels, across vehicle types. Certain combination tractors — commonly known as big-rigs or semi-trucks — will be required to achieve up to approximately 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018, saving up to four gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.
For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, separate standards are required for gasoline-powered and diesel trucks. These vehicles will be required to achieve up to approximately 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018. Under the finalized standards a typical gasoline or diesel powered heavy-duty pickup truck or van could save one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.
Vocational vehicles — including delivery trucks, buses, and garbage trucks — will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately ten percent by model year 2018. These trucks could save an average of one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.