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How The Obama Administration’s Fuel-Efficiency Mandate Affects The Heavy-Duty Trucking Industry

In the heavy-duty truck industry, cutting down on fuel emissions while still working at a high over-the-road, efficiency-level is of top priority to most commercial transport corporations. As of this year, however, the Obama administration implemented a historic regulation that promises to affect how these companies handle business operations.

The mandate, which focuses on reducing fuel emissions and carbon pollution (the main contributors to climate disruption and/or global warming), aim to increase big-truck fuel efficiency. More specifically, the rule, which was issued in a joint arrangement between the E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) and Transportation Department, requires that heavy-duty truck manufacturers upsurge fuel-efficiency by approximately a third. The E.P.A, which has estimated that the new rule will entail an additional $10,000 to $12,000 of technology be invested per vehicle, applies to trucks assembled between 2018-2027. From garbage trucks to school busses and any/all other big hauling automobiles be at least 24 percent more fuel efficient as well as emit 24 percent less carbon emissions to be manufactured.

Many major manufactures and secondary market sellers (such as this vender who provides opportunities in Mack truck choice rentals, purchases and inventory), view this as an opportunity rather than a misfortune and agree with the idea that, “The new requirements are just going to make them more attractive. It’s going to drive the market further,” said Anne Tazewell, transportation program manager at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (an organization dedicated to alternative fuel solutions).

Shockingly, 5 percent of the roads in the United States occupied by heavy-duty truckers are at fault to contributing 20 percent of total fuel emissions of the entire automobile population, which should come as little to no surprise as to why the rule has come into play.

What Are The Risks Involved?

Some who are concerned of the new mandate are skeptical about how the new technologies will affect road safety. The adoption of hybrid-electric systems, natural gas engines and other alternative fuel technologies may be good for the environment, but could potentially threaten how heavy-duty trucks operate. Concerns have been expressed of the E.P.A’s aggressive rule, which may erroneously influence and force manufacturers into installing unpredictable technologies that have yet to have been truly tested.

Additionally, many big-truck industries also fear the efficiency of their business, where the momentous demand in miscellaneous items for delivery (stemming from companies like Amazon and UPS), will directly affect shipping-productivity.  

The E.P.A.’s Response To Concerns

The potential for significant cost savings and dramatic benefits to the current environmental conditions widely overrides most industry concern. Nearly $150 billion are spent on diesel fuel regarding heavy-duty pickup trucks, and the opportunity to slash serious expenses exists.

Regarding concerns over unreliable technologies, the E.P.A. remains confident in the further development of these tools, which have been repeatedly said to not only improve in the upcoming years, but also pave the way into comprehensive research into technologies that do not currently exist on the road. However, industry (trucking) leaders that continue to oppose this ruling point out to the complexity of their trade and how no amount of technology can assuredly be installed without tribulations stemming from the diversity of long-trail hauling.  

Small Business vs. Larger Corporations

Independently run companies and smaller businesses raise continual concern of the ruling, stating that the mandate’s upfront costs are too expensive to install; additionally, the costs on fuel savings are most likely going to be subjugated by routine maintenance as well as down time thanks to the “untested” technologies. Larger corporations are most likely going to be less threatened by the ruling given for the fact that high upfront costs are feasible investments when given the potential to receive long-term savings.

Mainstream Changes

Whether or not corporations agree or agree to disagree with the new ruling, the mandate that is set in place is poised to place natural gas and other alternative fuels to the forefront of mainstream America. Additionally, power plants, which supply a lot their product to the trucking industry, will be forced to adjust their supply in coordination to the new ruling. So, no matter what, the one aspect of the E.P.A.’s new ruling will most likely improve awareness of global warming.


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