Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks To Get Fuel Economy Standards for First Time


The fuel ratings you see on most cars and pickup trucks on dealer lots are often taken for granted; medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold on the same lots don't have them. The fuel-economy numbers for those vehicles — used for everything from hauling boats to restoring power — will now be regulated by the federal government for the first time.

Today, President Barack Obama will announce the new regulations set to go into place in 2014. These new rules will cover three distinct sets of vehicles: combination tractors (semitrailers), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (such as city buses and garbage trucks).

The White House said in a statement this morning that the new rules were in response to requests from business owners and other operators of these vehicles after they saw the results of recent updates to the corporate average fuel economy standard for light-duty cars and trucks.

Like those recently upgraded EPA standards, the administration developed these new rules with automakers, fleet owners and the state of California as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the EPA to avoid potential court challenges.

The new program will run from the 2014 through the 2018 model years and is projected to save 530 million barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 270 million metric tons. It’s projected to save owners of those vehicles $50 billion over the life of the plan.

The plan promises a flexible structure to address the wide-variety of vehicles that fall under the program. We’ll have more details later this week. Check back here and on



can't wait to see city ratings of 8 and highway ratings of 12...

Matt C.

Great! More legislation based on junk science, designed to put more money in the pocket of the government and university researchers. Now our trucks will be more expensive and I'm willing to bet the cost of fuel will rise as a result. Thank you Chicken Little!


What does 'will now be regulated' mean?

Does it mean heavy vehicles will now have a window sticker?
or does it mean that heavy vehicles will now have a window sticker, AND have to meet a fuel economy target?

Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and
passenger vans with a gross vehicle
weight rating (GVWR) of more than
10,000 pounds
Other vehicles with a GVWR of 8,500
pounds or more or a curb weight over
6,000 pounds

Amuro Ray

@ Matt C,

"More legislation based on junk science"

So I guess that a fortune teller will be better to tell you the mpg rating?

Or is it better for a problem to be "hidden" as long as it's not documented - no guilt of wasting petroleum, polluting the environment, and causing negative impact to respiratory illness among hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans?

Matt C.


I don't need the government to tell me my mileage, usually they are wrong anyway. I can find out the mileages from reading reviews of the vehicles, where I happen to find out these figures already or test them out myself.

As far as polluting and wasting go, we have very clean air compared to the rest of the world. We (those who have breathing problems) have more trouble with pollen counts than CO2 counts. Should we get the EPA on regulating our tree, flowers and grass?

The reason given for the regulation was "greenhouse gases," which is a guess based on computer modeling, which is junk science. (Watch this I'm going to use your trick here) Maybe you should do a little more research before posting something. Try reading a dissenting opinion on global warming, maybe you could learn something. Maybe you'll see that the EPA is just another good idea gone horribly wrong.


I might be in the minority on this topic but living in the DFW metro area you'd be surprised as to how many of the locals commute daily (single riders)and clog up the local highways in their big pick 'em up trucks. I gather they rather enjoy the hundred dollar fill ups...but the trucks do get a workout on the weekends loading up at the big box stores.

Amuro Ray

@ Matt C.,

I've done enough research on global warming. That's what my graduating paper @ university was about too. Too bad that, with all the scientists, data, modeling, evidence, and explanation, we still have so many people, including you, that still don't believe it. This is not the place to debate GW, unfortunately.

EPA doesn't regulate natural occurring incidents. Human-made pollutions, such as exhaust from automobiles, aren't naturally occurring. It's just like, there's no law or criminal offense to lay responsibility for people who die due to natural cause; murder, on the other hand, is a crime.

And when you say, you can read reviews to find out mileage, where do you think the info comes from? So say, someone put that # on the window sticker, with the EPA confirming those # eventually - more power to the consumer, and that's bad?


More info to the consumers is a good thing. If you don't want to believe the numbers fine, but automakers improve their products for bragging rights on those mpg numbers. I've gotten more mpg and less mpg than the EPA in numerous vehicles, all depends on the conditions and how you drive them.

If one HD truck gets 12mpg hwy and the other gets 11mpg I wouldn't go out and buy the 12mpg thinking I'm going to save big bucks. In the real world they'll probably get the same mpg. If one HD truck gets 11mpg and the other gets 14mpg, you just might have something there. Something worth enough to spark new technologies entering the marketplace sooner to make vehicles more competitive fuel economy-wise.

In the 1970s the left was warning us of global cooling. Then in the 1990s it was global warming. When the rise of average global temperatures stalled in 1999 "climate change" was the new term. After Hurricane Katrina they hailed this climate change would increase the number of hurricanes and/or produce even bigger hurricanes. The next few "hurricane seasons" produced no such dramatic events... But yes let's have the government seize more money from tax payers to be handed out to scientist who get more money when they show a crisis and little to no money when they show no problem at all.

Matt C.

@ Eric,

Preach it brother! Can I get an AAAAMEN!


What about all the scientist that show other wise? Because you did a paper they must be wrong. The earth has been both colder and hotter than it is right now, and we've only had cars for 100 years. If there is "global warming" we don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing. Thinking we can control it are delusions of grandeur.

I believe when does a review and test drives a vehicle they do give actual mileage numbers. Consumer reports does the same thing. They use the EPA to compare to their numbers. If we didn't have those stickers tomorrow, I'm willing to bet that and Consumer Reports would still test the MPG's of vehicles. I'm going to let you in on a secret, (shhh don't tell anyone else!) miles driven divided by gallons of fuel consumed will tell you your MPG's. I did not need the EPA to help me figure that out.

Amuro Ray

@ Matt C.,

If only that's true, then NASA should still be getting funding for its shuttle/next generation rocket programs currently. The fact is, sadly, no :(

Anyhow, like I said, this isn't the place to discuss GW. So back to cars discussion.

Just 2 words here on why labels are helpful at least to some - fleet buyers.

I think the EPA mpg ratings are VERY useful because they're the only ones determined by standardized lab test procedures. This allows for real "apples to apples" comparisons between vehicles. The mpg data from car reviews is nice and may be closer to what you actually get, but it shouldn't be used to compare vehicles. There are too many variables (traffic, driver variability and weather to name a few) when testing outside the lab that will affect mpg.

Many moons ago I worked for a major oil company in R&D fuels and lubes development and we did tons of lab and field tests on our products. Even having the same drivers drive the same cars over the same roads day after day using the same fuels and lubes resulted in a LOT more variability than you'd see in the lab.

So why did we bother doing field tests? So we could say the product was proven with over X million miles of use...

Matt C.


The variability of the results is the exact reason I trust them more. Because there are so many variables you cannot account for all of them in a lab. If you are trying to recreate results then I understand the use of lab, but when real world application is involved I want real world tests.
In my line of work I use products that promise based on lab test that often fail in real world scenarios. I deal with architects who demand terrible products based on lab results, then complain when the product fails them.
I completely understand the usefulness of the lab results, because you need those before you do the real world test. I really don't think a government agency should be responsible for it. I'm a free market guy.

quite labs, factors are controlled, we cannot do that in real world...

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