Trucks That Work
How new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards will deliver better, cleaner, cheaper-to-operate trucks —– and why it matters for truck owners, wildlife and the U.S. economy
Zoe Lipman and Mary Ellen Kustin
As the nation looks to cut oil use, enhance national
security, reduce pollution and provide relief to
consumers from high prices at the pump, the most
effective near-term means we have to respond is to
deliver more efficient cars and trucks.
At the end of July, US EPA and NHTSA will release
the first-ever standards to increase the fuel
efficiency of medium and heavy duty trucks.
The Heavy Duty (HD) National Program will
complement existing and proposed standards for
cars and light trucks that are already on track to
deliver big benefits to consumers. Up until now these
improvements were only required for smaller
vehicles, leaving savings on the table for those who
need larger trucks.
Download the full report: Trucks That Work (pdf)
This report reviews the proposed heavy duty truck
standard, with a particular emphasis on the work
pickup trucks used in outdoor and natural resource
businesses and recreation. We find that new
New technology means trucks that cut pollution
while maintaining or improving performance.
Specifically We Find:
The proposed National Heavy Duty (HD) Program
delivers major benefits to the nation overall in energy
security, cash savings and pollution reduction.
The standard will save the nation $35 billion in fuel
costs, 98 million barrels of oil annually in 2030, and
eliminate 246 million metric tons of carbon pollution
over the life of the vehicles covered by the standards.
The HD National Program covers trucks weighing more
than 8500 pounds, including large pickups, vans,
vocational vehicles (such as transit buses, utility
trucks, delivery vans, cement mixers, and school buses)
and large tractor-trailers. It requires fuel consumption
and carbon pollution reductions of 7 to 20 percent by
2018, depending on the type of truck.
These standards help individuals, large and small
businesses, and government fleets save money and
protect tight budgets from the impacts of rising gas
prices. While new technology to save fuel does add
modest additional cost, those costs are outweighed in
all cases by fuel savings.
Owners of the largest trucks —– long-haul tractortrailers
—– save $74,000 per truck after accounting for
additional technology cost. Net savings for vocational
vehicles averages $4000, while work pickup’s net
savings range from $3200 to $4950.
Truck owners start saving on day one if they are paying
monthly on vehicles that they’ve financed or leased.
Moving to the more efficient trucks required by the
standard protects individuals, businesses and local
governments (and therefore the taxpayer) from
thousands of dollars in budget overruns should gas
These standards boost efficiency while safeguarding
power and performance truck owners demand. Existing
engine, transmission, body and tire technology delivers
significant efficiency gains through innovation that
often also provides power, acceleration or utility
benefits. In fact, no efficiency technology considered by
the agencies to meet the standard has a negative
impact on performance.
While medium duty work pickups such as the Dodge
Ram 2500 or F350 are covered by the Heavy Duty
(HD) National Standard, similar, lighter pickups, such as
the F150 or Dodge Ram 1500 are covered under the
recently enacted 2012-2016 Fuel Economy and
Greenhouse Gas Standards for cars and light trucks.
The Light-duty Program requires somewhat more rapid
fuel efficiency improvements for light-duty pickups.
This translates into somewhat greater cost savings and
quicker payback for those truck owners.
The technology being adopted to meet the light truck
standards, as well as other innovation, suggest a
roadmap for ongoing efficiency improvements and cost
savings for larger trucks.
The new car and truck standards, and the innovation
that goes with them, also provide a roadmap to
safeguard and grow hundreds of thousands of jobs.