WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is taking another swing at greenhouse gas emissions by adopting previously-announced standards to make large trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles more fuel efficient, and the Canadian government says it plans to follow suit.
About 70 per cent of all freight transported in the U.S. is moved by trucks, and the heavy vehicles are blamed for more than one-fifth of all transportation-related fuel consumption and associated GHG emissions.
The new regulations will bring in stricter carbon and fuel consumption regulations, requiring improvements of up to 25 per cent for certain tractors.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Transportation Department say the standards will cut carbon pollution while saving vehicle owners billions of dollars in fuel costs and conserving tens of billions of gallons of oil.
“The additional cost of a new truck will be recouped within 2-4 years, saving truck owners more over the long haul,” EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy and Anthony Foxx, Department of Transportation secretary, said in a joint statement.
While an earlier round of U.S. fuel-efficiency standards applied to vehicles in model years 2014-2018, the standards adopted Aug. 16 apply through 2027. The new rules also mandate heavy-duty pickups and vans will have to become 2.5 per cent more efficient annually between 2021 and 2027.
Canada’s Liberal government congratulated the EPA and Transportation Department on the news, adding that it has plans to propose new regulations of its own shortly.
“These regulations will steadily reduce harmful climate emissions and improve the fuel economy of large trucks, including tractor trailers, on North American highways through 2027,” Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in a statement. “This is real progress for the environment and for the economy.”
“Regulating this sector is key to providing cleaner air for Canadians,” she said. The Government of Canada intends to align with the Phase 2 emission standards, while considering specific implications for the Canadian heavy-duty vehicle, engine and trailer sectors.”
The federal government provided no specifics about the upcoming changes, but said it plans to propose the new rules by the end of the year.