President Obama announced, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) will issue, a new rule (the “Rule”) requiring certain truck manufacturers to improve truck fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission rates up to 20 percent by 2018. Specifically, the Rule mandates a 20 percent decrease in fuel consumption for combination tractor trailers, a 15 percent decrease for heavy-duty trucks, and a 10 percent decrease for commercial and vocational trucks (e.g. fire and garbage trucks).
The Rule will cause truck manufacturers to incur costs by implementing new fuel economy technology, thus causing truck prices to rise. Nonetheless, truck owners might be able to recover the cost of any price increases from fuel savings. For example, the Administration believes combination tractor trailer owners could save an estimated $73,000 during the life of a vehicle. Additionally, the Rule is projected to save over 530 million barrels of oil.
President Obama announced a similar rule governing fuel consumption standards for light-duty trucks and passenger cars, requiring manufacturers to increase fuel economy by 3.5 to 5 percent each year until 2025.
For more information, please contact Frank Deveau or any member of Taft’s Environmental Practice Group.