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Trucking Industry Welcomes Fuel Efficiency Standards

Trucking industry leaders have greeted new fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles with reactions ranging from cautious optimism to hearty enthusiasm.

Navistar, Cummins and the American Trucking Associations came out strongly supporting the regulations. The Engine Manufacturers Association and the Truck Manufacturers Association described the program timeline as “challenging,” but remained optimistic that the standards would be met.

Volvo, Chrysler and Conway all endorsed the standards, the Hill has reported.

Big-rig trucks will be required to reduce fuel consumption by about 20 percent, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans by up to 15 percent, and vocational vehicles – delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks – by about 10 percent by model year 2018, under the rules unveiled by President Obama yesterday.

“With this rule, EPA and NHTSA have now set an example for what could be a worldwide GHG and fuel efficiency regulation for heavy duty trucks and engines,” Navistar chairman, president and CEO Daniel C. Ustian said.

“This regulation will add real value for our customers as better fuel economy lowers their operating costs while significantly benefiting the environment,” said Rich Freeland, vice president and president of the engine business at Cummins,  a manufacturer of engines and related technologies.

“The rule establishes a completely new regulatory scheme requiring integration of more efficient powertrains together with fuel-saving components such as low rolling resistance tires and features to improve aerodynamics,” said Jed Mandel, president of the Engine Manufacturers Association and the Truck Manufacturers Association, which represent major manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty engines and trucks in the U.S.

“Commercial truck manufacturing is highly customized and very complex; implementing a new and innovative regulatory program would be difficult under any timeframe. It will be especially challenging given the very short time before implementation,” Mandel added.

“Nevertheless, we are optimistic that this program provides a realistic opportunity to meet that challenge,” he said.

And American Trucking Associations president and CEO Bill Graves said, “Today’s announcement by President Obama is welcome news to us in the trucking industry. Our members have been pushing for the setting of fuel efficiency standards for some time and today marks the culmination of those efforts.”

In 2007, ATA endorsed a six-point sustainability program that included a proposal to set technologically feasible efficiency standards. The associations said that in addition to the new standards, U.S. should institute a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour for all vehicles and require trucks to be electronically governed at that speed.

The ATA also said the U.S. should make efforts to reduce congestion, provide incentives for technology that reduces off-road idling, continue support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, and reform federal truck size and weight limits to allow the industry to operate its most productive and efficient vehicles.

In Canada today, environment minister Peter Kent released a consultation paper on the development of heavy-duty vehicle emissions rules. He said that Canada intends to implement rules that align with those of the U.S.

But in a blog post, a spokesman for house majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the rules introduced yesterday “further tie the hands of job creators and add yet another hurdle to getting the economy up and running.”

“The result of these regulations means increased costs for businesses and families, and fewer jobs for workers. Rather than placing additional burdens on working families and small businesses, Washington should be focused on removing barriers to growth and fostering an environment for job creation,” the post said.

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One thought on “Trucking Industry Welcomes Fuel Efficiency Standards

  1. This is the way to go, an opportunity of research. With less aerodynamic drag and less rolling resistance, along with fuel efficiency, the trucks will get even more silent in road for the neighborhood.

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