This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 10, 2011

President Obama Announces First Fuel Efficiency Standards for Work Trucks

The Obama Administration announced on August 9 the first fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles. Under the new program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. The initiative will also save an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in coordination with the automotive industry and other stakeholders, including environmental groups and the state of California.

The joint DOT/EPA program will include a range of targets that are specific to the diverse vehicle types. Vehicles are divided into three major categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (like transit buses and refuse trucks). Within each of those categories, even more specific targets are laid out based on the design and purpose of the vehicle. This flexible structure allows serious but achievable fuel efficiency improvement goals charted for each year and for each vehicle category and type. By the 2018 model year, certain semi-trucks will achieve up to an approximately 20% reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, saving up to 4 gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled. See the White House press release, the program fact sheetPDF, and the EPA transportation and climate regulations and standards Web page.