New Report: Standards Deliver “Trucks That Work” For Wildlife, Economy

Pickup Owners to Haul in Big Fuel Savings, Heavy Loads

08-18-2011 // Miles Grant
Trucks That Work

New fuel efficiency standards deliver for owners of pickup trucks used in outdoor and natural resource businesses and recreation, according to Trucks That Work (pdf), a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation.

“The landmark package of fuel efficiency standards announced over the last few weeks bring fuel savings to drivers of all types of vehicles,” said Zoe Lipman, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager for transportation solutions. “For those who rely on trucks for work and recreation, these standards bring significant cuts in pollution while delivering impressive performance. That means trucks that work in the outdoors and, increasingly, work for it.”

More efficient trucks mean truck owners save big. Under the final standard, heavy duty pickup and van owners save over $6,000 over the life of the vehicle – even after accounting for the cost of new technology. The added upfront costs are paid back in less than two years, and the report shows how many truck owners start saving on day one. Owners of the largest trucks, long-haul tractor-trailers, save $74,000 per truck, and that’s after accounting for additional technology cost. Better fuel efficiency also helps insulate individual, business and government budgets against the risk of rising fuel prices, while fuel savings and technology leadership aid the economy.

“America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup truck gives us a glimpse of what’s possible for this sector. The 2011 F-150 is 21 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous model– and at the same time, it’s significantly more powerful, with 50 percent more horsepower and more torque,” Lipman added. “A driver who trades in an ’05 for an ’11 is effectively cutting 75 cents off the cost of every gallon at today’s prices and saving hundreds of dollars a year on gas, that now can be spent at home or in their business.”

According to the report, when both car and light truck, and medium- and heavy-duty standards are considered, the combined fuel savings and carbon emission reductions would result in:

  • A cut of 639 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution annually by 2030, or about 10% of total US carbon pollution today
  • A reduction in America’s oil consumption by more than 1.2 billion barrels of oil a year, or 3.4 million barrels of oil every single day, more than the U.S. currently imports from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Venezuela combined

“BorgWarner produces a variety of powertrain technologies that boost the performance of new engines and transmissions while improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. We see demand for improved fuel economy and performance driving strong growth for our powertrain products,” said Erika Nielsen, director of marketing and public relations at BorgWarner Inc., which employs over 5,000 people in the U.S. “Our innovative turbochargers ensure drivers enjoy more miles per gallon as well as quick engine response, especially at low engine speeds and under heavy loads.”

Trucks That Work details how new fuel efficiency 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 rule has a negative impact on performance.

“We’re very proud to work on designing, manufacturing, and assembling heavy duty transmissions and diesel engines. The innovative powertrains we build go into a lot of different vehicles – including Mack Trucks, a great American icon,” said David Perkins, president of UAW Local 171, which has over 1,000 members at the Volvo Powertrain facility in Hagerstown, MD. “These products are some of the cleanest and fuel-efficient on the market today, so we know we’re helping protect scarce natural resources while at the same time reducing the cost of transportation. At our state-of-the-art Engine Development Laboratory, we also design and test the next generation of fuel efficient engines. Building the latest technology here keeps jobs in America.”

I have to have a truck, because I hunt and fish – I’ve got to haul two kayaks, one canoe, four bicycles and all the required camping gear, and I pull a small-size boat. Here’s what’s really getting my attention: I can’t fill up my truck any more without restarting the pump, because the pumps are set to shut off at $100,” said Brian Preston, a colonel in the National Guard and a member of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the National Wildlife Federation’s state affiliate. “For the first time in my life, I’ve heard friends of mine talk about not going hunting because they can’t afford that tank of gas.”

In a related report released last week, the National Wildlife Federation and UAW joined with the Natural Resources Defense Council to release Supplying Ingenuity, detailing how U.S. suppliers of clean, fuel efficient vehicle technologies can play a key role in the expansion of the auto industry in America and foster significant job growth.

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