In the wake of the flurry of new fuel standards comes one for the heavy haulers, in which President Obama announced heavy trucks and buses will need to slash fuel consumption and emissions starting in model year 2014.
This is the second round of new fuel efficiency standards set in the past month after Obama announced the new magic CAFE number to be 54.5 mpg by 2025. The new set of heavy-hauler fuel rules will affect three types of vehicles: Big rigs and semis, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and work trucks.
Big-rigs and semi-trucks will be required to consume 23 percent less fuel on average, while heavy-duty pickups and vans will have to cut consumption down by 10 percent, or by 15 percent for diesel fuel. Work trucks including delivery trucks, concrete mixers, buses, and fire trucks will need to keep in line with a 9 percent reduction in fuel and emissions.
While the cost of making these vehicles more fuel efficient will initally be expensive – the cost of compliance on each vehicle would range from hundreds to thousands of dollars – officials emphasized the money would be made up through the vehicle’s reduced fuel costs over time.
It’s expected 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion in fuel costs will be spared under these new standards, but no ‘magic mpg numbers’ for the heavy-duty vehicles were released considering the wide variation of vehicle types and the payload each carries. The standards apply to vehicle model years 2014 to 2018.
What do you think of these new standards? Is it yet another example of big government interfering in private enterprise, or a much-needed and long-overdue boost of freight-hauling efficiency?
Source: Detroit News