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

In The News Pickup Trucks

Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David