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New fuel rules for trucks

A row of shiny new trucks at a dealership

Jeremy Hobson: Today the White House is announcing some new rules of the road for some of the biggest vehicles on the road. New fuel efficiency standards cover large SUVs to 18-wheelers.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Eve Troeh reports.


Eve Troeh: While regular cars have had to get more fuel-efficient, trucks haven't had to change.

Don Anair: Trucks today are some of the biggest fuel hogs on the highway. They average about 6.5 miles per gallon.

That's Don Anair at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Three years from now, every new big rig will have to use 20 percent less fuel. Anair says there's been barely any backlash.

Anair: Truckers are going to have more fuel-efficient options, and they're going to save a lot of money at the pump.

But Bill Visnic at Edmunds.com suspects another reason behind the lack of public outcry.

Bill Visnic: It's something that just everyone assumed was already there.

Turns out the U.S. has never had mileage targets for big trucks. No other country does, except Japan. The new rules cover other big vehicles: garbage trucks, school buses, delivery vans, heavy-duty pickups.

Daniel Sperling wrote the book Two Billion Cars.

Daniel Sperling: Governments or companies that really run their trucks a lot, they're going to be very happy to buy the new ones.

He says fuel-efficient trucks will cost more, but they'll make up that cost in fuel savings in just a few years -- much faster than regular cars.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.
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