US shakeup on fuel efficiency for PCVs & HGVs

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The US Government is mandating a major shake-up of fuel efficiency for buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles.

New rules were set in place last week by the Obama administration, following consultation with vehicle and engine manufacturers, which will see limits introduced for new vehicles in 2014 with continued legislation demanding a 23% improvement over 2010 requirements by 2018. The move is anticipated to save around $50 billion in fuel costs and 530 million barrels of oil during the 2014-18 period. Trucks and buses are said to account for around 20% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Officials said the rules would impose additional cost of $6,220 on a typical articulated truck but save over $73,000 in fuel costs over its working life.

Transport industry reaction to the new legislation is said to be extremely positive – unlike the response received when similar rules affecting private cars was implemented. In a statement, President Obama said: “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and lightweight trucks, something interesting happened. We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks.They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. Today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”

With this regulation, all classes of vehicles under US law must now meet stipulated fuel efficiency standards.

Under the new legislation, typical fuel efficiency for articulated trucks with sleeper cabs would improve 23% by 2018. Average miles per gallon would rise from 6.0 to 7.2.

Engine manufacturers are said to be enthusiastic about the new rulings as it gives them a clear target and a defined path for development.