CO2 standards impact the cost of truck ownership in US

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A new study conducted by Transport and Environment (T&E) has found that the benefits of the US fuel efficiency standards for trucks outweigh their costs. T&E examined existing data from before truck standards came into play, and after.

Without standards, between 2008 and 2011, the cost of new trucks was increasing but the fuel consumption was at a standstill. Then, after the standards were introduced in 2011 and buyers began to around $400 more for a new vehicle, they actually began to get an average of $1,400 of additional fuel savings every year. This compensated significantly for the initial cost.

Petar Georgiev, research assistant with T&E has summarised their findings: “Comparing benefits and costs, fuel efficiency standards deliver a return of 3.5-to-1. Put simply, US truck standards have stacked up”.

“These findings show that truck standards can be a win-win-win for the climate, the industry and the freight sector,” adds Stef Cornelis, cleaner trucks officer at T&E. He explains that “Europe is lagging behind in the race to make more efficient trucks and time is up. The European Commission must act quickly and decisively this year to make sure proposed standards are ambitious and effective”.

Currently, in Europe, truck do not have to comply with CO2 standards whereas cars and vans must. However, in May this this year, the European Commission is due to publish a proposal to regulate CO2 emissions form trucks. On average, hauliers spend €32,000 a year and the fuel efficiency of trucks in Europe has stayed torpid for the past 20 years whilst countries like the US, Canada, Japan and China employ and benefit from the use of fuel standards.

Trucks make up almost a quarter of road transport’s greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, yet only account for 5% of all vehicles on roads.