News

# New Efficiency Standards Expected to Accelerate Adoption of Vehicle Electrification

August 08, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Today, President Obama announced the "first of their kind" fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles. According to the White House statement, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards following requests from companies to develop this program.

By the 2018 model year, the program is expected to achieve significant savings relative to current levels, across vehicle types. Certain combination tractors – commonly known as big-rigs or semi-trucks – will be required to achieve up to approximately 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018, saving up to 4 gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

For heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, separate standards are required for gasoline-powered and diesel trucks. These vehicles will be required to achieve up to approximately 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018. Under the finalized standards a typical gasoline or diesel-powered heavy-duty pickup truck or van could save one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

Vocational vehicles – including delivery trucks, buses, and garbage trucks – will be required to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 percent by model year 2018. These trucks could save an average of one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled.

"Vehicle electrification is one of the primary technologies that will support the increased fuel economy of these large vehicles," stated Linnea Brush, Senior Analyst with Darnell Group. "This development is further validation of our forecast from two years ago that the vehicle electrification market is poised for significant and sustained growth," she concluded.

The joint DOT/EPA program will include a range of targets which are specific to the diverse vehicle types and purposes. Vehicles are divided into three major categories: combination tractors (semi-trucks), heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, and vocational vehicles (like transit buses and refuse trucks). Within each of those categories, even more specific targets are laid out based on the design and purpose of the vehicle. This flexible structure allows serious but achievable fuel efficiency improvement goals charted for each year and for each vehicle category and type.

According to the White House statement, the standards are expected to yield an estimated $50 billion in net benefits over the life of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles, and to result in significant long-terms savings for vehicle owners and operators. A semi-truck operator could pay for the technology upgrades in under a year and realize net savings of$73,000 through reduced fuel costs over the truck’s useful life.

For more information, consult Darnell Group’s Vehicle Electrification: Worldwide Forecasts report, which can be found here.

More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.