President Obama announced the first-ever fuel-economy rules for semis, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles — down to HD pickups.
The rules will start with model year 2014 and escalate through 2018, the Associated Press reported.
The rules break down the vehicles into three categories:
- Diesel semis will have to cut fuel use 23%.
- HD pickups and vans will have to do 10% better if they are gasoline-powered and 15% if they run on diesel.
- Everything else — from buses to garbage trucks to cement mixers — will have to cut use 9%.
The White House released no miles-per-gallon equivalents for the rules, saying that it would be confusing because the categories include so many different types of vehicles and varying payloads, the AP reported.
Obama said in a statement that trucking companies and makers of medium and heavy-duty trucks have signed on to the standards.
It’s surprising with the economic meltdown in progress that the president found time today for this — and he did alter his plans. He had been scheduled to make the announcement at a trucking company in Virginia, a key state for the 2012 elections,the AP reported, but switched to a private session with industry execs at the White House.
The White House briefing projected savings from the rules of 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion in fuel costs over the expected lives of the vehicles. The administration stressed that it believes the upfront costs of the rules — from hundreds to thousands of dollars more to buy the vehicles — will be recouped eventually over their lifetime in lower fuel costs.
The big vehicle rules follow Obama’s announcement last month of new rules for cars and light trucks calling for a fuel-economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Current rules call for a rise from 27 mpg now to 35.5 mpg by model year 2016.
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