The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint set of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and engines on August 16, 2016. The new standards apply to companies that manufacture, sell or import into the United States Class 2b through 8 trucks, including:
- combination tractors,
- all buses,
- vocational vehicles including municipal, commercial, recreational vehicles, and commercial trailers
- and ¾-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks and vans.
The heavy-duty category incorporates all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 lbs. or greater, and the engines that power them, except for medium-duty passenger vehicles already covered by the greenhouse gas standards and corporate average fuel economy standards issued for light-duty model year 2017-2025 vehicles. This “Phase 2” of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s efforts under the Climate Action Plan.
The new rule enacts stricter emissions and fuel efficiency standards for each of the applicable categories of regulated vehicles and engines. The new standards are based on utilization of current technologies and fostering and implementing new technologies, with sufficient lead time to develop and implement them using a phased approach to reduce overall implementation cost to the industry. This Phase 2 rule apply to vehicles manufactured through 2027. The final rule will also implement standards to control the leakage of greenhouse gases from vehicle air conditioning systems.