New Heavy Duty Trucking Fuel Standard
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced a new heavy-duty truck fuel efficiency standard this spring that soon could require new trucks to reduce fuel use by at least 40 percent.
The study done by Union of Concerned Scientists indicated that a target of 40 percent target is achievable with technology standards of today. This type of fuel technology could cut fuel cost by billions of dollars.
“Heavy duty trucks make up only seven percent of the vehicles on the road, but they use a quarter of the fuel, and they’re integrated into every aspect of our economy,” said Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at Union of Concerned Scientists.
This would save truck drivers $30 billion in fuel costs while cutting more than 110 million tons of CO2 emissions. The great thing is that the technology to cut fuel by 40 percent already exist, it has for years. We’re now just seeing the concern and needs to get this done.
When you think about it, everything we purchase comes with oil. Milk, eggs, meats, shoes, shirts, all of these are brought to you by trucks. Think about your local Wal-Mart, all of the goods there are brought in by Wal-Mart trucks. And all of those trucks require fuel, hence the oil you get when you purchase these items.
Unfortunately, heavy duty trucks have been getting around the same fuel mileage per gallon for decades. The heavy duty trucks of today only get about six miles to the gallon. Its been that way since the 1970s, so we’re looking at a good 50 year stretch. Having heavy duty trucks getting better gas mileage is long over due.
The freight fleet here in the United States consumes the most fuel out of anyone. On an annual basis, freight fleets use 21 billion gallons of fuel a year. Over 50 percent of that fuel is used to move consumer goods. Shipped cell phones across the country account for 400,000 gallons while 66 million gallons are used to move milk.
The UCS study looked at products and companies Americans interact with on a daily basis, showing the profound importance of trucking such products and the wide variety of benefits with more efficient trucks hauling critical consumer goods.
The study noted that five of the country’s largest trucking fleets could cut their fuel use by as much as 500 million gallons a year under the new fuel standards. These are familiar brands that nearly all Americans know and engage on a regular basis. They included FedEx, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and UPS respectively.
The new fuel standards are also expected to protect consumers from future fuel price increases. When gas prices are high, its going to hit your wallet at the stores. You may have recently noticed that prices are cheaper right now since fuel has been at 5 year lows. Gas prices affect the cost of daily goods. With this type of fuel standard, we should see price surging.
This is a game changer. Your talking about the average heavy duty truck driver saving upward of $30,000 a year in fuel cost alone once the initial cost would be cleared. It’s so much more than just a small change, $30,000 is a lot of money. It’s going to save everyone money, it will conserve more American fuel and that’s big for the trucking industry.
Having fuel efficient heavy duty trucks was once thought impossible. And then we had the technology to do it, nothing was done. We’re happy to see this new fuel standard in the making and can’t wait to see this type of technology in all the new trucks. Trucking companies will be able to save big money and invest it on more important matters. Imagine the fuel savings once all trucks are more fuel efficient. Hopefully we’ll see this within the next decade.