- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have released final Phase 2 greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
- These standards will apply to vehicle model years 2019 through 2027. Standards are customized for four different categories: combination tractors, trailers pulled by combination tractors, heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles.
- According to the EPA, these standards are estimated to lower CO2 emissions by about 1.1 billion metric tons, save about $170 billion in fuel costs and reduce oil usage by as much as 2 billion barrels during the lifetime of new vehicles.
These standards are part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan and are projected to provide $230 billion in "net benefits to society." The EPA estimates that the buyer of a new long-haul truck will recover their investment in the more efficient technology through fuel savings within two years. So far these new standards have received a warm reception from the national trucking industry, including at least one major waste company.
“It’s a win-win for our industry, our customers and communities – reducing emissions and saving fuel and money," said David Steiner, CEO of Waste Management, as reported by Truck News. "Having invested in approximately 6,000 natural gas trucks so far, we’ve already seen the benefits of new advanced technologies and have eliminated the need for 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, per vehicle. We’re fully committed to continuing the transition of our fleet to natural gas."
While some trucking analysts have said these requirements may be tough to meet, many of the waste industry's larger companies have already begun shifting away from standard diesel technology. Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles have been a particularly popular option for both private and municipal fleets.