Agencies Finalize New Fuel Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks
The cost of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles are expected to rise as a result of the latest federal fuel efficiency standards for manufacturers. On August 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly finalized their Phase 2 fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new trucks for model years 2018-2027. These standards do not affect existing vehicles.
EPA claims the resultant fuel savings will be significant. The agency estimates the new measures will “save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.” Vehicle manufacturers are currently reviewing the final standards and according to some news reports appear “cautiously optimistic” about the provisions, but it remains to be seen whether the actual outcomes will match well with customers’ needs. An estimate of the proposed standards (the final is more stringent) found the sticker price increases could be as high as $10-12,000 for Class 8 trucks.