(Washington, D.C.—Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) Proposed new government fuel efficiency standards for three categories of trucks are out today. Federal agencies say the rules should boost fuel efficiency by 15 - 20 percent over the next eight years.
Officials say their goal is to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency in combination tractors, heavy duty pickup trucks, and vans and vocational vehicles like buses.
The new regulations, released by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would take effect starting in 2014. They include new engine and tire standards intended to make commercial fleets more fuel efficient.
The agencies are going for a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel use in combination trucks by 2018. Heavy duty pickups running on diesel fuel are expected to achieve a 15 percent reduction by 2018, while gas-powered heavy duty trucks and vans should cut their fuel use and emissions by 10 percent, according to DOT.
The rules go after a range of fuel-wasting problems in truck fleets, including poor aerodynamics, leaky air conditioners, and sub-optimal tire performance.
Of course, all of these new standards will likely raise short-term costs for trucking owners. Officials say up-front costs will more than pay for themselves by cutting fuel costs over several years.
There’s a 60-day public comment period before regulators set about making the rules final. Read, if you dare, the entire 673-page of proposed regulations here.