The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are jointly proposing standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution.
The proposed standards are expected to have the following impact:
- Lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons
- Cut fuel costs by about $170 billion
- Reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program
The EPA concludes the reductions would nearly equal the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with energy use by all U.S. residences in one year and the total oil savings under the program would be greater than a year’s worth of U.S. imports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The proposed vehicle and engine performance standards would cover model years 2021-2027, and apply to semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of buses and work trucks. They would achieve up to 24 percent lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption than an equivalent tractor in 2018, based on the fully phased-in standards for the tractor alone in a tractor-trailer vehicle. Additionally, the proposed standards are:
- Not mandating the use of specific technologies. Rather they establish standards achievable through a range of technology options, and allow manufacturers to choose those technologies that work best for their products and for their customers. (These technologies include improved transmissions, engine combustion optimization, aerodynamic improvements and low rolling resistance tires).
- Phased in over the long-term, beginning in model year 2021 and culminating in standards for model year 2027 – giving manufacturers the time and flexibility to plan.
- Flexible, by allowing banking and trading emissions credits for most manufacturers, and providing businesses the opportunity to choose the most cost-effective path to meet the standards.
The proposed standards are fully harmonized between NHTSA and EPA. The agencies have also worked closely with the State of California’s Air Resources Board in developing the proposed standards. A public comment period will be open for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. In addition, NHTSA and EPA will host two public hearings.