Next phase of greenhouse gas rule for trucks could add $14,000 to sticker price

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 6/2/2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are inching closer to unveiling a proposed rule targeting emissions and fuel economy for medium- and heavy-duty trucks beyond model year 2018. Exactly what the proposed rule will say has not been released, but one report says it will require trucks to average 9 mpg by 2027 while adding up to $14,000 to the sticker price of the vehicle.

The New York Times claims to know what the EPA/NHTSA proposal on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy trucks looks like, even though the proposal does not yet appear in the Federal Register. An official notice could be just days away, according to the report.

Current fuel economy averages for long-haul truckers are in the neighborhood of 5.5 to 6 mpg. A final rule published by EPA/NHTSA in 2011 established the first-ever standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and it targeted a 20 percent savings during a period lasting 2014 through 2018.

The agencies are set to unveil their proposed second phase of standards that extend through 2027. Most likely, it will take trailers, fairings, rolling resistance and other factors into account beyond the engine and tailpipe.

As OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Scott Grenerth said when the proposed second phase landed at the White House Office of Management and Budget on March 27, the biggest concerns are twofold.

“The cost of the truck, and reliability of the truck – that’s the bottom line,” Grenerth told Land Line then.

Grenerth went to Washington, D.C., in mid-May to meet with the White House budget office and also with EPA officials. He says the discussions centered on issues with reliability and downtime for truck repairs, cost-benefit of a rule to the trucking industry and how focusing on emissions can counteract fuel economy.

See related story:
Truck fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas proposal advances

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