Print 80 comment(s) - last by Jedi2155.. on Aug 11 at 11:44 PM

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 The Imir of Groofunkistan on 8/9/2011 4:12:09 PM , Rating: 1
I don't see this creating any jobs...but it sure may cost a few. I understand we need to reduce oil consumption, but at the moment > 9% employment is screaming FIX ME. He keeps promising to address it, yet every concrete action he takes seems to make the problem worse. This is just another example of that. Yes we should increase our fuel economy. But don't demand that it be done right now when people can least afford to take the hit.

RE: umm
By Gungel on 8/9/2011 4:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it does, new more fuel efficient trucks create more jobs.

RE: umm
By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 8/9/2011 4:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
and the cost in making them more fuel efficient costs jobs

RE: umm
By Flunk on 8/9/2011 4:40:22 PM , Rating: 1
in OPEC member nations.

RE: umm
By Keeir on 8/9/2011 7:22:29 PM , Rating: 3
::rubs head::

Okay lets see if we can follow this.

Most Big-Rigs/Heavy Trucks are operated by cold heartless corportations. Not individuals who have style preferences.

Therefore, there must be some reason that more fuel efficient trucks/heavy duty etc have not been produced by the marketplace.

If, as regulatory officals claim, the payback period is less than 1 year! then these trucks should be selling like hotcakes already.

There must be a 'hidden' catch that makes government intervention needed. This catch means that although this may be a positive enviroment/society move, it is not a -economic- move. Instead of it being -cheaper- to operate the 'new' trucks, it must in some way be more expensive or more risky. In the face of higher capital costs, business will most likely trim other costs... such as labor.

Now, the other thing that occurs to me is that it is possible these advances were being made -anyway- (as Diesel prices are above 3.50 and show no sign of falling) and Obama is just trying to take credit for them with this action.

RE: umm
By FITCamaro on 8/9/2011 7:58:33 PM , Rating: 1
It's still the same damn companies creating trucks. Its not like manufacturers stopped building or designing new semis. Now they will just have to spend even more money to design them. Which means the costs will go up. And your costs for the things they haul will go up.

RE: umm
By Jeffk464 on 8/9/2011 11:29:22 PM , Rating: 1
Of course the money spent on improving trucks is spent in the US and stays in the US economy. Money spent on Diesel fuel goes mostly to foreign countries and so is taken out of the economy.

RE: umm
By Spuke on 8/10/2011 4:06:07 PM , Rating: 1
Money spent on Diesel fuel goes mostly to foreign countries and so is taken out of the economy.
And since that fuel is needed to deliver goods, that money gets put back into the economy. See how that works. Some of "you people" think we get nothing from the use of oil.

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