Following rapid innovation and the introduction of new technologies in the heavy vehicle manufacturing industry, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released final Phase II regulations for increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The new regulations will be phased in from 2021-2027.
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy says the organization is aware that meeting these requirements will increase manufacturing costs, but says that implementing the regulations is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one billion metric tons, reducing fuel consumption by 1.8 billion barrels of oil during the projected lifespan of heavy vehicles produced in compliance with the regulations. Additional costs per vehicle are estimated at approximately $14,000 per truck, but the costs should be recouped within the first 2 to 3 years of operation. Manufacturers have expressed their support for the ruling.
Fleet operators that have been switching over to natural gas trucks report that the new technologies have enabled large savings in fuel costs, benefiting their businesses substantially. The heavy duty truck sector is the second largest component of the US transportation system and is the fasted growing area of the transport sector. Currently, heavy vehicles are believed to be responsible for 20% of US greenhouse gas emissions despite representing only 5% of the total number of vehicles on the road.