When President Obama announced the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2025 last week, it included measures for cars and light trucks to achieve 54.5 mpg highway. This average includes an automaker’s entire model lineup, but does not include medium and heavy duty trucks.
But something funny happened last week as lawmakers were hammering out those final details. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks,” said President Obama. “They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks.”
This morning, the president answered those Americans with measures to increase medium and large truck fuel efficiency standards, and to decrease pollution and oil consumption for new models sold from 2014 through 2018.
Under the CAFE standards imposed last week, beginning in 2017, automakers must improve their efficiency rating by five percent annually for cars, and 3.5 percent per year for the first five years for light duty trucks, then five percent per year until 2025. But under today’s addendum, new standards will apply to semi trucks, heavy-duty gas powered trucks and vans, and work trucks.
The measures call for 23-percent reduction in fuel consumption, but no hard numbers were announced because of differences and capacities of various truck categories. Heavy-duty trucks and vans will have to slash consumption by 10 percent, or 15 percent if diesel powered; work trucks, such as fire trucks, buses, and garbage trucks, must cut nine percent from their current ratings.
Under these measures, administration officials project to save 530 million barrels of oil and $50 billion dollars in fuel savings over the lives of the new vehicles, compared to current vehicles.
Sources: The Detroit News, USA Today