U.S. to Set Fuel-Economy Standards for 2014-'18 Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

By Scott Doggett October 20, 2010

The Obama administration, acting on a requirement set by Congress under the 2007 energy law, will soon unveil the first fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the U.S.

The new proposed requirements will cover the 2014-18 model years and will be finalized by July 30, said Margo Oge, director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

"The announcement is going to happen soon," Oge told reporters in Washington, D.C., today. "It's going to be a historic announcement that will advance energy security, climate change and will be a win-win situation."

The EPA said in May that the rules could save 500 million barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles built over the five-year period and achieve $70 billion in fuel savings.

The EPA also estimated that the new rules could reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 250 million metric tons. The trucks consume more than two million barrels of oil every day and average 6.1 miles per gallon. They also emit 20% of the greenhouse gases from the transportation sector.

Medium-duty trucks are generally defined as 13,000 to 33,000 pounds, while heavy-duty trucks weigh more than 33,000 pounds. The government since 2005 has spent more than $200 million to help retrofit dirtier, older diesel engines with newer cleaner engines.

The government already has hiked fuel-efficiency standards by 40% by 2016 for passenger cars and light-duty trucks - to a fleetwide average of 34.1 mpg.

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