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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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RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2014 5:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
By the way figure a truck goes through 50 - 70 gallons a day so this will get you pretty close to 10% right there.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Spuke on 2/18/2014 5:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
Trucks in CA are not allowed to idle for more than 5 minutes then they're hit with a fine. Some rigs are having large battery banks and inverters installed so they can run stuff without the engine.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/18/2014 6:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
Many trucks today have an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). The generator still burns diesel and adds weight to the truck, but it's more efficient than idling a 13L+ engine.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Spuke on 2/18/2014 7:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
The generator still burns diesel and adds weight to the truck, but it's more efficient than idling a 13L+ engine.
Are you sure about that? I have a motorhome and the generator in that is NOT more efficient than the engine (and this is true for most all if not all motorhomes).

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/18/2014 7:56:12 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but you have understand that the relevant measure of efficiency here is highest !/$, not highest peak thermal efficiency. In other words, what matters is what gets the job done (legally) for the lowest cost.

APUs have lower peak thermal efficiency than the primer mover, but they operate closer to their peak thermal efficiency when providing hotel services. This results in lower fuel consumption and lower emissions. Efficiency is boosted further when you include the decreased wear-and-tear on the vehicle.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Jeffk464 on 2/18/2014 9:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
They actually pollute more than the main engine.

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Samus on 2/19/2014 12:01:34 AM , Rating: 4
A truck idling overnight can easily burn 8 gallons parked overnight

While that may be true, smart truckers are moving away from this trend.

Many trucks, especially owner-operator and leased trucks, where fuel is reimbursed by logistics or dispatch, they have an APU (auxiliary power unit) equiped to run the vehicles climate control, water/engine block heater and consumer voltage. Some are noisy 2-cylinder diesel engines that aren't easy to service, but are pretty reliable and only need oil changes every 1500 hours and burn as little as a coffee cup of fuel an hour maintaining the climate condition of a cab and keeping the shutdown engine "warm".

I expect Obama's new "standards" to require APU's, possibly at the manufacture level, in order to meet set fuel efficiency requirements. For those that don't know, fuel efficiency for large commercial vehicles are not rated in miles per gallon but gallons per hour. Since truckers are only (legally) allowed to drive 12 hours/day, it is presumed 50% of a trucks lifespan is spent idling.

There isn't much competition so they cost $8000+ (taking a long time for return on investment) and no manufacturer bakes them into a platform since no manufacturer actually makes them. That could all change with a federal mandate.

Before somebody says "if they're such a good idea why aren't manufactures putting them in trucks" I'll answer it with one word. Incentive. There isn't one. Knowing this administration, they'll have tax credits for APU's.

Or they'll raise tax on diesel even more...

RE: Only 8.1 Billion?
By Jeffk464 on 2/19/2014 3:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
Shore power should be more efficient than an APU, you are using the efficiency of the local power plant and you aren't carrying around the extra weight. I would guess the reason truckers want apu's is they can't reliably get shore power and truck AC's currently aren't meant to run of shore power. It really should be no big deal to have a motor rather belt driven compressor, this is very doable. And like I said before the air quality in and around trucks stops is awful because of idling and running 2 stroke diesel apu's.

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