President Obama recently met with industry officials to discuss what could be a breakthrough in fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles, according to a press release. The new Heavy-Duty National Program falls in line with President Obama’s 2010 request to establish greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for the medium and heavy-duty highway vehicle sector. The new standards, outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions and domestic oil use drastically and save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles close to $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. 

“While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” President Obama said in a statement.  “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks.  They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”?Behind the new national program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will decrease oil consumption by an estimated 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. The program estimates by the 2018 model year, select combination tractors, commonly known as big-rigs or semi-trucks, will be required to achieve close to a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, saving up to four gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

“Thanks to the Obama Administration, for the first time in our history we have a common goal for increasing the fuel efficiency of the trucks that deliver our products, the vehicles we use at work, and the buses our children ride to school,” U.S. Department of Transportation secretary Ray LaHood said in a press release. “These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector, and promote energy independence for America.”

For more information visit EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm or NHTSA’s website at www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy