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EPA’s new fuel efficiency standards stricter than ever

United States Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released new emissions and fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles and engines.

The heavy-duty category incorporates all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 lbs or greater, and the engines that power them, except for medium-duty passenger vehicles already covered by the greenhouse gas standards and corporate average fuel economy standards issued for light-duty model year 2017-2025 vehicles. This “Phase 2” of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s efforts under the Climate Action Plan.

The new rule enacts stricter emissions and fuel efficiency standards for each of the applicable categories of regulated vehicles and engines. Phase 2 standards, which apply to vehicles manufactured through 2027, will use current technologies and allow lead time for companies to develop and implement new technologies.

Phase 2, as outlined in the EPA’s 1,690 page document published Aug. 16, expects final standards to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons and save vehicle owners about $170 billion in fuel costs, while reducing oil consumption by up to 2 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program.

The EPA and NHTSA project that manufacturers will begin applying most of the improvements to about 45 percent of their heavy-duty engines by 2021, and ultimately apply them to about 95 percent of their heavy-duty engines by 2024.

“However, for some of these improvements we project more limited application rates,” the final ruling states.

The agencies are also finalizing fuel efficiency and GHG standards for trailers for the first time. The EPA trailer standards will take effect in MY 2018 for certain trailers, while NHTSA’s standards will take effect as of 2021.


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You are here: Home News In Brief EPA’s new fuel efficiency standards stricter than ever