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Obama outlines next stage of fuel economy, GHG standards for heavy-duty trucks

“EPA and NHTSA will work closely with stakeholders, both large and small, to explore further opportunities for fuel consumption and emissions reductions beyond the model year 2018 timeframe,” said the president.

The Trucker News Services

2/18/2014

President Barack Obama today outlined the next stage of fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for heavy-duty trucks, calling on OEMs to partner in supporting “innovation for the next generation of trucks” in what the administration said would save an estimated $50 billion in fuel and 530 million barrels of oil.

The president made the announcement at a Safety distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md.

He directed the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (EPA) to come up with the standards by March 2016, with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by March of next year.

“EPA and NHTSA will work closely with stakeholders, both large and small, to explore further opportunities for fuel consumption and emissions reductions beyond the model year 2018 timeframe,” said the president.

According to information presented at the announcement, “An operator of a new 2018 semi truck could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year and realize a net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs over the truck’s useful life.”

Obama said the second round of fuel efficiency standards will lead to adoption of new technologies, which included innovations trucking OEMs have already tackled including engine and powertrain efficiency improvements; aerodynamics; weight reduction; improved tire tolling resistance; hybridization; automatic shutdowns; and improvements to water pumps, fans, auxiliary power units and air conditioning.

The president highlighted the success of private sector partnerships such as the National Clean Fleets Partnerships, the Smartway Partnership and the SuperTruck Program.

He called on Congress to pitch in by establishing an Energy Security Trust and enacting reforms to promote oil and gas development on federal lands and called for a $200 million in a new tax credit to invest in infrastructure to support advanced vehicles.

The tax credit proposal would be what he called “fuel neutral,” allowing the private sector to determine which alternative fuels, whether biofuels, electrification, natural gas, hydrogen or others would be “the best fit in different communities.”

He also called for extending an expired tax credit for biofuels to “accelerate development of this transformative transportation fuel.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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