EPA Propose New Regulations for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

On June 19, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed new regulations to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from all new heavy trucks, buses, and vans.

The proposed program is set to begin in 2021 and would run through 2027. The EPA claims these new standards would, “significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles, helping to address the challenges of global climate change and energy security.”

The EPA and DOT also noted that the updated models of trucks that comply with these new standards could:

  • Cut Green House Gas emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons
  • Conserve approximately 1.8 billion barrels of oil
  • Lower fuel costs by about $170 billion
  • Reduce the overall costs for transporting goods

“Once upon-a-time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-big-vehicles. This rule will change that,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “In fact, these efficiency standards are good for the environment – and the economy. When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It’s good news all around.”

The proposed standards do not mandate the use of specific technologies. However they establish standards that are achievable through a range of technology options, and allow manufacturers to choose those technologies that work best for their products and for their customers.

Technologies include:

  • Improved transmissions
  • Engine combustion optimization
  • Aerodynamic improvements
  • Low rolling resistance tires and more

The American Trucking Association’s Vice President and Energy and Environmental Counsel, Glen Kedzie, expressed concern in a recent statement that, “this rule could result in the deployment of certain technologies that do not fully recognize the diversity of our industry and could prove to be unreliable.”

However, Kedzie also admitted “the potential for real cost savings and associated environmental benefits of this rule are there.”

The EPA will now hold a 60-day public comment period as well as two public hearings, which will allow people to voice their opinion.

For more information about the new program please visit the EPA website here.