August 16, 2016

New Truck Standards a Major Step Forward for Consumers and Climate, Science Group Says

Heavy Duty Vehicle Rule Will Cut Emissions, Improve Fuel Efficiency

WASHINGTON (August 16, 2016) — Tomorrow’s trucks will run cleaner and go farther on a gallon of fuel thanks to a comprehensive set of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles issued today by the federal government. The new final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will significantly cut oil use, save truck owners money, and reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, according to experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Last December, the United States played a leading role in securing a global climate agreement in Paris and these new standards demonstrate that we are doing our part to implement that landmark agreement,” said Ken Kimmell, president of UCS, who posted a blog today on the rule. They are realistic, cost-effective, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 billion tons and oil consumption by 2 billion barrels over the lifetime of the program.”

In addition, the new rule will save truck operators more than $170 billion annually, and the average U.S. household will spend about $150 less per year on shipped goods.

David Cooke, a UCS senior vehicles analyst, pointed out that despite the fact there are a lot fewer trucks than cars, the new standards will have a major impact.

“Heavy duty trucks are only 7 percent of the vehicles on the road, but they consume 25 percent of the fuel we use, and that fuel cost affects the price of everything we buy,” Cooke explained. “Besides that, trucks are a major and growing source of carbon emissions. These new standards, which will make trucks 37 percent more fuel efficient than trucks sold in 2010, will provide significant benefits for drivers, fleet owners and everyday consumers.

“Truck manufacturers can make heavy duty trucks much more fuel efficient using affordable existing technology, and the new standards will ensure that they put advanced technologies on the road in years to come,” Cooke added. “EPA and NHTSA strengthened the proposed standards during the rulemaking process, but our research shows that they could have gone even further by requiring trucks to be at least 40 percent more efficient. Truck manufacturers need to put proven technologies to work while continuing to innovate to move the industry forward.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.