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Big rigs need to cut fuel consumption up to 23%

Having high fuel efficiency in a vehicle is a great thing for the driver because they can spend less on fuel. Having higher fuel economy on vehicles across the automotive market will reduce the need to import foreign oil and will help to reduce overall pollution as well. The big downside is that the cost of the tech to improve fuel economy is not cheap and that cost will be passed onto the car buyer.

The Obama administration today outlined its Heavy-Duty National Program [PDF] fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles like semis, concrete trucks, dump trucks, and other heavy work trucks. Rather than targeting a specific mile per gallon rating  for the heavy-duty vehicles – like what has been proposed for passenger vehicles -- Obama is going to target a percentage of fuel savings.

The reason for this significant difference in fuel savings is according to the administration imposing a MPG standard on this sort of vehicle would be very confusing considering that the range of categories is wide and the payload and duties in the segment vary widely.

The administration wants a 9% saving in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions for work trucks (fire trucks, garbage trucks, and busses, etc.). Gasoline swilling heavy-duty trucks and vans will need to see a reduction of 10% with diesel versions needing to see a 15% savings. Big rigs have the most stringent cuts at up to 23%.

The regulatory announcement also makes the following claims with regards to recouping the added cost associated with adopting more fuel efficient technologies: 

Using technologies commercially available today, the majority of vehicles will see a payback period of less than one year, while others, especially those with lower annual miles, will experience payback periods of up to two years. For example, an operator of a semi truck can pay for the technology upgrades in under a year, and have net savings up to $73,000 over the truck’s useful life.

The new standards will apply to covered vehicles in the 2014 to 2018 range. The hope is to cut 530 million barrels of oil consumption and $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles with the new standards in place.

The cost to meet the new standards on the varying vehicle types are expected to be in the range of hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per vehicle.

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By Goty on 8/9/2011 3:53:37 PM , Rating: 4
I think the title of this article should read "Obama Unveils Fuel Savings Demands for Big Rigs, Heavy Duty Vehicles". Obama doesn't offer plans, he just says "get this done" without any thought as to the reality of the situation.

RE: Plans?
By Brandon Hill on 8/9/2011 3:56:13 PM , Rating: 2
So Obama is now Larry the Cable Guy? ;)

RE: Plans?
By cjohnson2136 on 8/10/2011 10:56:35 AM , Rating: 2
You realize the big rig companies such as Mack and Cummins support this right. If both the government and the people it affects support it why such a big fuss out of it.

RE: Plans?
By lagomorpha on 8/10/2011 11:48:07 AM , Rating: 2
Of course the engine manufacturers (Mack and Cummins) support it. It means a requirement to replace trucks currently on the road with newly built newly designed trucks. The question is whether operators can support it.

The companies that make trucks != the companies that use trucks to move goods.

RE: Plans?
By Spuke on 8/10/2011 4:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
You realize the big rig companies such as Mack and Cummins support this right.
If I owned either one of those companies, I would support this too!! That means most everyone has to replace their trucks, nice HUGE boost for my bottom line. I won't even mention that I'd charge more for it (WAY more). :)

RE: Plans?
By FITCamaro on 8/10/2011 6:29:45 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. The government forcing shipping companies to buy my products? GREAT!

That's like saying auto manufacturers wouldn't support the government raising fuel prices. They know its great news for them since people will be forced into buying new cars that get better mileage (never mind that for most people its a stupid idea since the gas savings doesn't offset the car payment).

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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