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ACEEE fact sheet

Big Rigs Can Cut Fuel Consumption 40%, ACEEE Says

ACEEE fact sheetFuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks could achieve a reduction in average new truck fuel consumption of at least 40 percent by 2025 from 2010 levels, according to a fact sheet by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and four other groups.

The EPA and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration adopted the first-ever standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and engines built for model years 2014 to 2018 — the so-called phase 1 standards — in 2011. The agencies are currently working on a second phase of standards for trucks beginning with model year 2019.

According to the fact sheet — jointly released by ACEEE, the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists — the fuel reduction would yield oil savings of 1.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2035, and two million barrels per day in 2040.

President Obama pledged to set new emissions rules for trucks in his state of the union address earlier this year. The phase 2 standards are expected later this year.

Trucks would be able to meet the 40 percent target through a broad range of engine, vehicle, and trailer technologies, according to ACEEE senior researcher Siddiq Khan. These include technologies already being used in fleets, as demonstrated by the DOE’s SuperTruck program, or are in development, Khan says.

These new technologies will also save fleet owners’ money. A new tractor-trailer, which typically is driven more than 150,000 miles per year and will stay on the road for 15 years, will cost about $32,000 more with the added technologies, according to the fact sheet. However, it will save about $30,000 in fuel costs in its first year of operation; more specialized trucks’ average payback period will be less than two years (see image).

Fuel-efficiency standards for heavy duty trucks beginning in model year 2019 will lead to “significant” fuel savings — and likely good news for the industry — according to a blog by Jim Sweeney, vice president of capital equipment for AmeriQuest Transportation Services, posted earlier this month.

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