America’s challenge to Europe’s truck supremacy
Historically, American trucks are less efficient than EU trucks. That’s mostly because diesel prices in Europe are much higher. But in 2011 the Obama administration adopted its first ever truck fuel economy standard. This first phase standard regulates both the engine efficiency and the whole vehicle’s performance and required improvements of 9 to 23%.
The new fuel economy standard, adopted in August 2016, means that the US will soon have the most fuel-efficient trucks in the world. The new standards will improve efficiency of tractor-trailers, vocational trucks, large pickup trucks, vans and commercial trailers. The vehicle and engine performance standard for tractor-trailers, pickup trucks, vans, buses and work trucks will cover model years 2021-2027. The trailer standard will start in 2018.
Tractor-trailers – which emit the most CO2 and burn the most fuel – will now become 30% more efficient by 2027 compared to 2017 levels (see graph). The additional purchase costs of the fuel saving technology required to reach the targets will be 2 years.
ICCT – a big win win on big trucks
Thanks to the standard, truck fuel economy in the US will now improve more than twice as fast as in the EU in the next decade. This means that by 2027 US tractor-trailer will become 16% more efficient than EU long-haul trucks. However, Europe is not done for yet. The 2016 European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility has announced that the EU will introduce standards, an excellent opportunity to reclaim the top position and raise the bar globally.