New Fuel Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Standards for Freight Trucks and Buses Will Reduce America’s Oil Consumption, Pollution

October 25, 2010

Tony Kreindler, 202-572-3378,
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

(Washington, D.C. – October 25, 2010) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) for their joint proposal to adopt the nation’s first-ever greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for freight trucks and buses.

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which include everything from the largest pickups to 18-wheelers, are the transportation sector’s second-largest users of oil, after cars. America’s trucks and buses use more than one hundred million gallons of oil per day. Trucks and buses are also responsible for about 20 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. transportation sector.

“We are in a race against time to reduce America’s dependence on oil,” said Steve Cochran, EDF’s Vice President of Climate and Air. “Today’s historic proposal is a critical step in the right direction. More efficient trucks and buses will use less imported oil, and that will help strengthen our economy, increase our national security and reduce our air pollution.”

The proposed new standards would apply to trucks and buses manufactured in model years 2014 to 2018. They would create significant benefits over the lifetimes of the vehicles from those five model years — including reducing oil consumption by more than 500 million barrels.

This chart illustrates that by 2030 the projected daily oil savings from the proposed standards will entirely offset our nation’s Iraq oil imports.

The proposed new standards would also reduce carbon dioxide pollution by 250 million metric tons, and would provide $41 billion in net benefits to operators, over the lifetimes of the same vehicles. As one example, EPA estimates that an operator of a semi truck could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and save as much as $74,000 over the truck’s useful life.

Today’s proposal follows recent two announcements by EPA and DOT about better fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks. The first announcement was in April, when the Obama administration adopted the first-ever national greenhouse gas emission standards for model year 2012-2016 cars and light trucks. The second announcement was earlier this month, with the announcement of a blueprint for new standards for model years 2017 to 2025. Today’s proposed standards for freight trucks and buses will add to the enormous benefits expected from the new standards for cars.

Another huge benefit from today’s announcement is the potential for job creation. The proposed new standards will increase demand for the innovative technologies that make trucks and buses more efficient, including hybrid electric engines. According to a analysis, the U.S. virtually owns the global market on these technologies in the medium- and heavy-vehicle categories,.

“American-made technologies — from advanced diesel engine systems to hybrid electric commercial trucks – will be deployed to achieve these new standards, and that is great news for U.S. jobs,” said Jackie Roberts, Director of Sustainable Technologies for EDF. “From Compact Power in Troy, Michigan to Cummins in Columbus, Indiana, American companies are already leading the way in supplying cleaner, more efficient commercial trucks — and there is an incredible potential for growth.”

The first commercially available medium-duty hybrid trucks hit the road in 2005 through a partnership between FedEx and EDF. There are nearly 3,000 of these vehicles on the road today, and they can slash greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 50 percent and decrease particulate pollution (also known as soot) by 90 percent over traditional diesel vehicles. UPS, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Purolator Courier, AT&T, and Florida Power & Light are among the 200 companies that have hybrid trucks in their fleets.


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