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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RE: todays laugh
By Hiawa23 on 8/10/2011 10:31:34 AM , Rating: 3
I am skeptical about this. I think it would be great to make big rigs more fuel efficient, but is it realistic? I would rather the admin work on drilling for our own oil here in the States, cause our need for oil is not going to be reduced & with the craziness going on over seas we better find ways to produce more of our own oil, as the price seems to change at the drop of a hat when anyone blinks an eye over in those countries, & the majority of our vehicles are not going to run on electricity especially with the economy in the shape it's in & the middle class falling & struggling, electric vehicles to me will not be the viable option. How do you get gas prices down, that's what I am concerned with, or how do you make em run off of natural gas.

RE: todays laugh
By Natch on 8/10/2011 11:54:13 AM , Rating: 3
No, this is simply what you get when you've got someone without an engineering background, who surrounds themselves with "yes men", who tell him it's the greatest idea in the world to mandate higher fuel efficiency in all vehicles on the road.

Meanwhile, the engineers who design these vehicles are sitting there going, "Really? Gee, why didn't we think of that??", while rolling their eyes, and wondering how they're going to deliver fuel economy as well as performance.

RE: todays laugh
By drycrust3 on 8/10/2011 11:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
I am skeptical about this.

There is little point in demanding more fuel efficiency from vehicles without also demanding an increase in the strength of the road. One cause of inefficiency, especially for heavy vehicles, is the dragging effect of road as it bends under the weight of the vehicle. By building better roads you then reduce that drag and decrease fuel consumption.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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