The Obama administration did not specify what reduction targets it plans to achieve through the new rule.
The directive follows a 2011 action by the administration that set fuel efficiency and emissions standards for big-rig trucks (see graphic). In 2011, Obama established fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards requiring big rig trucks to reduce fuel consumption by about 20 percent by model year 2018.
Under those rules, These vehicles will have to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15 percent by model year 2018. Over the lifetime of the vehicles covered, trucks and buses are projected to reduce oil consumption by 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by about 270 million metric tons, saving vehicles owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs, according to the White House.
To develop this second round of standards, the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will work with stakeholders to find ways to reduce fuel consumption and emissions beyond model year 2018. The EPA and NHTSA will also work with the California Air Resources Board to ensure the next phase of standards allows manufacturers to continue to build a single national fleet, according to a White House fact sheet.
The new standards will be designed to spur manufacturing innovation and lead to the adoption of new fuel-efficient technologies in trucks and semi-trailers. The EPA has been directed to consider aerodynamics, weight reduction, improved tire rolling resistance, automatic engine shutdown and accessory improvements as ways to meet those tighter standards, the Obama Administration said.
Obama also directed the Department of Energy, which is working with EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, to provide each company that wants to partner on the new standards with specialized resources, technical expertise and support to reduce fuel use and achieve greater efficiency.
The Heavy Duty Fuel Efficiency Leadership Group, a coalition of medium- and heavy-duty fleets and advanced technology providers that formed in 2010 to work with the EPA and NHTSA, has developed a list of principles that should form the basis of this second round of standards.
The group, which includes Con-Way, Cummins, Eaton Corp., FedEx, Wasbash National and Waste Management, says phase two should drive substantial GHG reductions, while achieving important economic and energy security benefits.