EDF Applauds Pollution Standards for Cleaner Freight Trucks

America’s Freight Trucks Will Use Less Fuel and Emit Less Climate Pollution

August 16, 2016
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – August 16, 2016) The U.S. is getting a fleet of delivery trucks and buses that will use two billion fewer barrels of oil and emit 1.1 billion fewer tons of climate pollution than the ones we have now, and save truckers billions of dollars in fuel costs. By 2027, the cost of modernizing the nation’s fleet of new long-haul freight trucks with advanced low-emitting technologies could be recouped in under two years through fuel cost savings. 

“Today’s Clean Truck standards are a big win for America’s efforts to address climate change, reduce oil use, and strengthen our economy,” said Fred Krupp, president of EDF. “EPA and DOT have created rigorous and common sense standards that will reduce climate pollution, protect public health, make us more energy independent, and save money for both truckers and consumers. With today’s announcement, we will cover a lot of ground in our journey toward a safer, healthier clean energy future.” 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the final second-phase climate pollution and fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks today. The standards will apply to the freight trucks that transport the products we buy every day, as well as to buses and school buses, tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and garbage trucks. (They are separate from standards for cars and passenger trucks.)

Freight trucks use almost 120 million gallons of fuel every day, and emit hundreds of millions of metric tons of climate pollution each year. EPA and DOT say that today’s new Clean Trucks standards will:

    • Reduce climate pollution by 1.1 billion tons
    • Reduce American fuel use by two billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the trucks
    • Save truck owners $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of their vehicles
    • Result in $230 billion in societal benefits over the life of the program

The program will also benefit con­sumers by reducing the costs for shipping goods. The Consumer Federation of America found that rigorous fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards could save American households $250 annually in the near term and $400 annually by 2035. 

These second-phase Clean Truck standards will build on the first ever heavy-duty fuel economy and GHG program, which was finalized in 2011 with broad support from truck manufacturers, national security and veterans groups, labor, consumer, and health groups, and clean air advocates (including EDF). Today’s second-phase standards will apply to vehicles beginning in model year 2021.

More than 300 companies called for strong final standards during the rulemaking process, including PepsiCo and Walmart (two of the largest trucking fleets in the U.S.), mid-size trucking companies RFX Global and Dillon Transport, and large customers of trucking services General Mills, Campbell’s Soup, and IKEA. That’s largely because fuel is the largest single cost for trucking fleets. The average semi truck today burns 20,000 gallons of diesel a year – the same volume of fuel used by 50 new passenger cars. 

Innovative manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and freight shippers have also called for strong standards. There are many technology solutions on the shelf and in production today that can be cost-effectively scaled to make trucks significantly more efficient and cleaner. Truckers and fleets across the nation have already begun adopting many of these fuel saving technologies and strategies. U.S. companies are also leading the way in developing and deploying new clean innovative technologies that will protect our environment, strengthen our economy, and help America lead the race to clean energy technologies in the global marketplace. 

You can read more about the Clean Truck program on EDF’s website.

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