Obama to announce new fuel-economy standards for big vehicles image

Last Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced new national fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks.

Today, president Obama will announce first of their kind fuel efficiency standards for trucks, large busses and other heavy duty vehicles. The announcement is scheduled to be made at Interstate Moving Services in Springfield, Va.

The White House says the standards the president was announcing will save businesses billions of dollars in fuel costs, help reduce oil consumption and cut air pollution. The standards apply to vehicle model years 2014 to 2018.

Big rigs or semis will have to slash fuel consumption and the production of heat-trapping gases by up to 23 percent.

Gas-powered heavy-duty pickups and vans would have to cut consumption by 10 percent, or by 15 percent if they run on diesel.

A new long-haul tractor-trailer typically averages over 100,000 miles per year and consumes at least 15,000 gallons of fuel per year. At $3.50/gallon, a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption as a result of the standards would save $10,700 in expenditures at the pump in one year.

These gains will mainly be achieved through improvements to engines, tires, the aerodynamics of the truck and reduced idling – technologies that have been proven through the EPA’s voluntary SmartWay program.

EPA’s proposal in October 2010 was for on-road 3/4 –ton and 1-ton trucks, vans, buses, semis of 8500 pounds or more. The joint standards are now formed in association with the Department of Transportation (DoT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).