EPA issues new set of emissions standards

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation on Aug. 16 issued the final draft of the next round of emissions and fuel economy standards for U.S. heavy-duty trucks, calling for a 25 percent reduction in certain greenhouse gases by 2027 when compared to 2018 year-model equipment. The new rules likely will drive up the costs of trucks and trailers.

The EPA and the DOT’s National Traffic Highway Safety Administration released their Phase 2 emissions standards proposal last year. The Aug. 16 rule finalizes that proposal. By model year 2027 – when the Phase 2 standards are fully phased in – tractors in a tractor-trailer combination must achieve up to 25 percent lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption than an equivalent tractor in 2018.

“As the primary manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty engines and vehicles in the United States, EMA members are in the process of implementing the Phase 1 GHG/FE standards,” says Jed Mandel, president of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA). “The success of the Phase 1 implementation is directly tied to the fact that the 2011 standards were well matched with EMA member efforts to meet customer demand for more fuel efficient vehicles. We are in the process of reviewing today’s highly complex rule to determine if it aligns with manufacturers’ efforts and customer needs. If not, the Phase 2 program would impose enormous costs on our customers, constrain customer choice, and, as a result, impose significant challenges to its successful implementation.”

For diesel tractor engines, the agencies are adopting standards for MY 2027 that are more stringent than the preferred alternative from the original proposal, and will require reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption that are 5.1 percent better than the 2017 baseline for tractor engine. The agencies are also adopting standards for MY 2021 and MY 2024, requiring reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of 1.8 to 4.2 percent better than the 2017 baseline tractor engines.