Tractor-trailers will have to achieve a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018, the Obama Administration announced this week.  Other vehicles ranging from delivery vehicles to heavy-duty pickups will have to achieve improvements of 10 to 15 percent.  The standards are the first ever promulgated for heavy trucks and are expected to cost vehicle buyers around $8 billion, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector, and promote energy independence for America,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

According to a statement released by the White House, certain combination tractors 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 4 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 10 percent by model year 2018.  These trucks could save an average of one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled, the statement said.

President Obama said that industry supported the standards, which the government was authorized by Congress to develop in 2007.  The administration previously announced a sharp increase in mileage standards for automobiles and light-duty trucks.

 More information is available from the Environmental Protection Agency at  http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm
or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at  http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy.