Fuel efficiency regulations considered 'feasible'

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) expressed support for the first-ever national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for heavy- and medium-duty trucks.

The proposed standards will be phased-in and will achieve from 7 to 20 percent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption from 2010 baseline Class 8 tractors. These targets, which will be achieved from both engine and truck advancements, will largely employ off-the-shelf technologies such as low-rolling resistance tires, improved aerodynamics, reduced idling, and other measures currently recognized by EPA’s SmartWay Program. Incremental cost increases for combination tractors are projected to be $5,900 in 2014 while other truck categories are expected to see minimal price increases in the range of $200-$400 per vehicle. Trailers are not currently being addressed in the proposal.

“The trucking industry strongly supports fuel economy standards that are both economically and technologically feasible as one of several preferred methods in reducing its carbon footprint,” ATA Vice President and Environmental Counsel Glen Kedzie said. “We believe the regulations proposed by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can be attained through technologies currently available to motor carriers with expected returns on investments of between 12 to 24 months.”

In addressing fuel efficiency standards, the rules touch upon two of the six pillars in ATA’s Sustainability Plan released in 2008 – namely, promoting national fuel economy standards for trucks and participating in the EPA’s SmartWay Program. Other components of ATA’s Sustainability Plan to lower trucking’s carbon footprint include:

  • Federal laws requiring trucks to have speed governors set at no more than 65 mph or below, and a national speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles;
  • Allowing more productive truck weights and combinations, which safely improve fuel economy;
  • Reducing idling by updating the interstate system to reduce traffic congestion; and
  • Using new technologies to reduce other engine idling.
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