On June 19, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly proposed new standards to reduce the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of new heavy-duty vehicles, tractors, trailers, and engines. The new Phase 2 regulations would be implemented from model years 2018 to 2027, building upon initial standards that cover model years 2014 to 2018. This policy update provides a summary of some key aspects of the proposed rules. The final Phase 2 rules are expected in 2016.
In structure the proposed Phase 2 regulation is similar to Phase 1, with performance standards that promote diverse efficiency technologies across dozens of categories of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Efficiency improvements from Phases 1 and 2 together would deliver CO2 and fuel consumption reductions of about 20%–30% for heav-duty pickups and vans, 20% for vocational vehicles, and 30%–45% for tractor-trailers (compared with model year 2010 technology). Under the agencies’ preferred “Alternative 3” proposal, these per-vehicle benefits would phase in through model year 2027. Under the agencies’ more stringent “Alternative 4,” the same new requirements would be phased in two to three years earlier.
The associated deployment of the new truck technologies would deliver fuel savings that greatly exceed upfront costs. The payback periods for truck owners would be within two years for tractor-trailers, within three years for pickups and vans, and about five years on average for vocational vehicles. The impact of the Phase 1 and 2 standards together would result in over one million barrels per day of oil savings from 2035–2050.