New U.S. standards will improve fuel efficiency for trucks and cut pollution

Union of Concerned Scientists reports: Unlike passenger cars and other light-duty vehicles, the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles has been largely unregulated for decades. Tractor trailers, delivery vans, and other heavy-duty trucks have kept roughly the same fuel economy since the 1970s — just 6 miles per gallon. Years of non-regulation and slow investment now mean that heavy-duty vehicles consume 25 percent of all fuel, despite only accounting for 7 percent of vehicles on the road.

First-ever standards were finally passed in 2011, putting in place a series of fuel economy targets for different types of vehicles — but more can be done.

Using existing, affordable technology, new trucks could be up to 40 percent more efficient compared to today, reducing annual fuel consumption by billions of gallons and preventing millions of metric tons of global warming emissions. For truckers, fleet operators, and America’s largest companies — including Walmart, Coke, Pepsi, UPS, and FedEx—a strong federal standard also means good business: annual shipping costs could fall by at least $135 per American household, and likely much more. [Continue reading…]

The Guardian reports: The Obama administration is issuing new rules intended to improve fuel efficiency for medium and heavy-duty trucks and cut pollution blamed for global warming.

The proposed standards are expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by about 1bn metric tons, cut fuel costs by about $170bn and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8bn barrels over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the rule.

The long-expected rules were announced on Friday, one day after Pope Francis issued a teaching document calling for the world to take action to slow climate change. [Continue reading…]

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