Study urges 'bold standards' on truck fuel economy
"Bold standards" that cut new heavy truck fuel consumption by 40 percent compared to 2010 levels would deliver significant environmental and economic benefits, according to a new report commissioned by two environmental groups, the Environmental Defense Fund and Ceres
President Obama has directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with establishing target fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The proposed standards will be announced in March of 2015, and the agencies are now considering how stringent those standards should be.
In the report, the environmental consulting firm M.J. Bradley & Associates compared the cost of operating a truck under the current standards with the cost of truck operation under a bolder standard that assumes a target for new tractor trailer units of nearly 11 miles per gallon in 2025. The analysis found a bolder standard would:
- Drive fleet average net savings of 21 cents per mile by 2040. The study found while stringent standards would drive up equipment costs by 5 cents per mile, that would be offset by fuel savings of 26 cents per mile.
- Save sleeper truck operators $21,000-$36,000 during the first year the new truck is in service. A new day cab and trailer would realize $3,500-$6,900 in net savings the first year.
- Lower the per-mile cost of heavy truck operation by 3 percent in 2030 and 7 percent in 2040, compared to the cost of operation under the existing standards.
EDF and Ceres said savings would accrue directly to trucking fleets and some portion would likely be passed on to retailers, manufacturers and other shippers.
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