Heavy-duty vehicle efficiency

This page is a collection of resources for policymakers on how to develop mandatory efficiency performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles. We use the term 'vehicle efficiency standards' to refer to performance standards that target reductions in fuel consumption, carbon dioxide, or greenhouse gas emissions. Heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are defined as commercial vehicles and buses with a gross vehicle weight greater than 3,500 kilograms. HDVs are a good candidate for efficiency standards, since these account for less than 5% of the global on-road vehicle fleet but 40% of its energy consumption. Setting and enforcing new HDV efficiency standards can serve as a powerful complement to market-based approaches—such as providing fleets and shippers with better information on fuel-saving technologies and strategies—and fiscal measures, such as taxing fuels and vehicles to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles and providing incentives for advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure.

In comparison to light-duty vehicles, the unique challenges of regulating HDVs include the large number of possible combinations of engines, transmissions, and bodies; a lack of data on how HDVs are actually used; and the high cost of chassis dynamometer testing for complete vehicles. In response to these challenges, the governments of the United States and the European Union have developed sophisticated models that are capable of simulating the fuel-efficiency of complete vehicles as opposed to testing each one on a chassis dynamometer. These models take as inputs the results of standardized component tests performed on engines, tires, aerodynamics, axles, and transmissions. This collection of resources offers guidance on the necessary steps to be taken by regulatory agencies to formulate and implement efficiency standards for complete HDVs using this combined approach of component testing and vehicle simulation for certification. Resources will be added to this page over the course of Fall 2018 and 2019.

Presentations, G20 Transport Task Group "deep dive," 2017–2018

The G20 Transport Task Group (TTG) is a voluntary collaboration among the governments of G20 economies that aims to enhance the energy efficiency and environmental performance of transportation, and particularly HDVs. In 2017 and 2018, the TTG implemented a landmark project to facilitate technical and regulatory knowledge exchange among interested G20 economies and build their capacity to develop and implement HDV efficiency programs. The first phase of this project consisted of a series of virtual meetings with regulators from at least six G20 economies. The presentations for these meetings were delivered by the ICCT, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), The European Commission's Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). These presentations, which are made available below, cover the key elements of HDV efficiency programs and CO2 determination and offer insights into the successful approaches taken in the United States, European Union, and Canada.