The trucking industry will be facing new mileage criteria come 2018, which has prompted many groups to applaud the new decision, with others feeling that the new criteria will be too costly and detrimental.
In his announcement of the new standards last Tuesday, President Obama explained that the decision to expand fuel efficiency and gas emission standards to heavy-duty trucks derived from several letters from truck buyers, manufacturers, and drivers who asked that the effort to “improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks” be applied to heavier vehicles as well. These vehicles include long-haul trucks, heavy and medium-duty work trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles, an article in upi.com notes.
With long-haul trucks averaging 6 mpg and diesel engines accounting for 22 billion gallons of fuel consumption a year, new regulations would require semi rigs to “reduce fuel consumption and gas emissions 20 percent, heavy-duty pickups and vans, by 15 percent, and vocational vehicles such as delivery trucks, transit buses and garbage trucks, by 10 percent,” as well as require tractor-trailer trucks to “get 20 percent more miles per gallon by the 2018 model” (http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2011/08/14/Auto-Outlook-Industry-unworried-about-truck-mileage-rule/UPI-54501313314200/).
By doing so, the site notes the following savings:
-A more fuel efficient system for 18-wheelers, averaging nearly 4 gallons per 100 miles with vocational trucks averaging around 1 gallon/100 miles.
-A decrease in gas emissions leading to a cleaner environment the way that Road Scholar Transport does with its new trucks, which give off 1/42 the amount of diesel particulate as the 2007 engines, promoting a healthier/greener environment.
-Reduce the “dependency on foreign oil.”
-Save over 530 million barrels of oil consumption.
-Reduce fuel costs over the next five years by $50 billion (http://mediamatters.org/research/201108150006).
The benefits of the new regulations have won over many in the trucking industry, including the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), but there are those holding concerns over the recent standards.
A large issue among groups is the rising cost to meet regulations, resulting in billions of dollars for truck manufacturers. With 11-14 million vehicles being manufactured in 2011, the number of commercial trucks being created is only a few hundred thousand, upi.com explains. And with increasing costs to create these trucks, along with higher purchasing costs (nearly $6,220 greater per rig and costing new buyers around $8 billion according to Bloomberg.com), thousands of employees risk losing their jobs/businesses. In return, companies will have to charge more to haul freight in order to account for rising costs.
On a brighter note, Bloomberg explains that the additional money companies spend in purchasing a truck will be quickly reimbursed, saving operators $73,000 in fuel for the running length of the truck.
Cummins Inc, global manufacturer of diesel engines, is said to be in the process of developing high-efficiency drive trains that will fulfill the new standards, available in 2013.
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