Washington, D.C. – The U.S. government has announced new fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, which it said will save approximately US$50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program.

The standards were developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in close coordination with stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop the program.

Under the program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels, and greenhouse gas (GHG)  emissions by approximately 270 million metric tonnes. The program, which relies heavily on on-the-shelf technologies, was developed in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, the State of California, environmental groups and other stakeholders.

The program includes a range of targets specific to the diverse vehicle types and purposes. Vehicles are divided into three major categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles such as transit buses and refuse trucks. Within each category, even more specific targets are laid out based on the design and purpose of the vehicle. The flexible structure allows serious but achievable fuel efficiency improvement goals charted for each year and for each vehicle category and type.

Certain combination tractors will be required to achieve up to approximately 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions by model year 2018, saving up to four gallons of fuel for every 100 miles travelled. Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans will have separate standards for gasoline and diesel, and will be required to achieve up to a 15 per cent reduction in fuel and GHG emissions by model year 2018. Vocational vehicles, including delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks, will be required to reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions by approximately 10 per cent.

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