The US Government has ordered tougher fuel efficiency standards for the nation’s fleet of heavy-duty trucks.
President Barack Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to set the next round of fuel efficiency standards for larger trucks, which weigh more than 8,500 pounds, by March 2016.
The Obama Administration previously set the first ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards in 2011 for medium and heavy duty vehicles, covering 2014 to 2018. Over the lifetime, trucks and buses are expected to cut oil usage by around 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas emissions by 270 million metric tons – saving $50 billion (£30bn) in fuel costs.
The President said: “Improving gas mileage for these trucks are going to drive down our oil imports even further. That reduces carbon pollution even more, cuts down on businesses’ fuel costs, which should pay off in lower prices for consumers. So it’s not just a win-win, it’s a win-win-win.”
In 2011, transportation accounted for around 28% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, second to the electricity sector.
With the standards in place, a family that buys a new car in 2025 is expected to save $8,200 (£4,917) in fuel costs when compared to a similar vehicle in 2010.
Last year the US Government awarded $45 million (£28.7m) for new research and development projects into cheaper and more fuel efficient transportation technologies.