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President Obama is expected to announce it today

Medium and heavy-duty vehicles are on U.S President Barack Obama's agenda for discussion today in an effort to set new fuel standards
Obama today announced the tightened fuel standards for vehicles like semis, garbage trucks, buses and three-quarter-ton pickups at a distribution center for the grocery chain Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Obama requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) create new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas proposals by March 2015 and final standards by March 31, 2016. 
The action follows the president's State of the Union Address last month, where he said he planned to set new fuel standards for trucks in order to cut costs at the pump and lessen our need for oil and imports. 
In 2011, the EPA and NHTSA finalized the first phase of fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, saying that they must lower reduce fuel consumption between 10 and 20 percent depending on design.

President Obama wants heavy duty vehicles to reduce their fuel consumption. [Source: Getty Images]

More specifically, big rigs and semi trucks were required to achieve a 20 percent reduction, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans were required to achieve a 15 percent reduction, and delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks were required to achieve a 10 percent reduction. This affects 2014 to 2018 model years.
Trucks and buses built between these model years are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. 
The 2011 rules are expected to save $50 billion in fuel costs, which is equivalent to 530 billion barrels of oil. 
However, auto manufacturers will have to pay up $8.1 billion to build the fuel-efficient vehicles.
In August 2012, the Obama administration also finalized fuel efficiency standards in cars and light trucks by the year 2025. By pushing for 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency, the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards aim to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the course of the program, and encourage the adoption of autos like electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids.

Sources: USA Today, The White House

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New Engine Design
By deltaend on 2/18/2014 4:05:36 PM , Rating: 1
Eventually, these types of requirements will necessitate new engine designs which are more advanced than our current re-re-re-re-redesigned engine models which have been around for over 100 years.

Couple this engine with new battery designs such as potassium or graphene based batteries charged from breaking and even trucks will be getting 100mpg.

Personally, I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

RE: New Engine Design
By fic2 on 2/18/2014 4:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
Waste heat recovery systems such as this:

will help.

RE: New Engine Design
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2014 5:16:12 PM , Rating: 1
Have you read about the hydraulic hybrids, they might be heavy duty enough for trucks. You store bread energy as hydraulic pressure rather than stored electricity. Hybrids will probably only save you a little bit for long haul though, it would be more for local delivery.

By the way the biggest fuel savings is to ship the trailers city to city by train and then have city drivers pick up and deliver the load locally.

RE: New Engine Design
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2014 5:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
eh, break energy not bread energy.

RE: New Engine Design
By mjv.theory on 2/19/2014 4:42:09 AM , Rating: 2
eh, break energy not bread energy.

What use it is if it's broken?. Unless of course it were re-generative "braking".

RE: New Engine Design
By mjv.theory on 2/19/2014 4:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
and before you jump on another typo with another spelling mistake:

"What use is it ....

RE: New Engine Design
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/18/2014 7:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
One thing to recognize about train fuel efficiency is that it is measured in ton*miles/gallon.

Trains are very efficient primarily because they have a low rolling resistance coefficient. The problem is that they are also extremely heavy, so their baseline rolling resistance is high compared to trucks. The extremely fuel efficiency ratings you hear bandied about are primarily because trains haul coal, ore, steel and other heavy commodities. Those ratings would tank if their payload consisted of paper towels, frozen food or illegal immigrants like over-the-road trucking.

What you're describing is drayage, which is extremely common with shipping containers. Over-the-road trucking has the advantage of route flexibility, point-to-point service and speed.

RE: New Engine Design
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/18/2014 6:51:39 PM , Rating: 3
Literally hundreds of new engine types have been invented over the past century and only one has ever broken the diesel/gasoline engine oligopoly -- the wankel. In other words, don't count on it.

Semi-truck diesel engines are extremely efficient, with BSFC starting to go below 0.3 lb/bhp*hr. An extremely efficient gasoline piston engine will be ~0.35. The largest piston engine ever built (Wartsila RTA-96) is among the most efficient at ~0.28.

Ironically, the last 15+ years of technology has been spent fighting emissions to the detriment of fuel efficiency. The latest research has been on turbo compounding (e.g. Detroit Diesel DD15, Scania 470) and the Organic Rankine Cycle (Cummins). Other approaches have been clutching the air-compressor, more efficient alternators, super single tires, direct drive transmissions and an increasingly strict diet of decreased weight and increased aerodynamics.

RE: New Engine Design
By JediJeb on 2/20/2014 4:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
strict diet of decreased weight and increased aerodynamics.

The problem here concerning the mandated mileage numbers is that as you decrease the weight of the vehicle, haulers will just increase the weight of the cargo to keep it as close to the legal maximum. While this will increase efficiency as measured by ton*mile/gallon it does little for mile/gallon numbers. You are actually using less fuel to move the same amount of cargo, but the vehicle itself is still using the same amount of fuel to travel the same distance.

RE: New Engine Design
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/20/2014 7:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
True, but...

1) Decreasing the weight of some components has an effect regardless. For example, aluminum wheels have less rotational inertia than steel wheels.

2) The average load trucks carry is less than the maximum GVWR. Reefers and (especially) flatbeds are the most likely to gross-out. Even then, just one "light load" carried (e.g. aluminum doors) means the average will be under gross.

3) Trucks often deadhead between loads.

4) Increasing ton*miles/gallon is the relevant metric for America. The fact that it will increase indirectly is a benefit of the mandate. The independent owner-operator (little guy) will probably lose out since he'll be paying for technology without reaping all the benefits... welcome to 21st century America!

RE: New Engine Design
By sorry dog on 2/24/2014 11:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
I would think the gas turbine would be considered a more realistic occasional competitor to the piston engine than the rotary which is really novelty design.

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