The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have just released new rules covering greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles.

The regulations aimed at slimming down the emissions while raising mpg into the next decade apply to a broad range of vehicles from pickup trucks, to garbage trucks to the largest tractor-trailer rigs on the road.

That means that larger pickups such as the Chevrolet Silverado HD, Ford Super Duty and the Ram 2500 are included.

For the first time the program will apply to truck trailers, reducing emissions and fuel consumption attributable to aerodynamic drag by up to nine percent.

The trucking rules will be phased in over 10 years and take hold in three steps beginning in 2021, followed by 2024 and 2027.

A White House fact sheet says the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by about one billion metric tons, cut oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels and reduce fuel costs by about $170 billion  over the lifetime of the vehicles subject to the regulations.

Big pickup trucks and vans will become 2.5 percent more efficient each year between 2021 and 2027.

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“We expect this will drive innovation as well as clear the air that we breathe,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.

“These standards are ambitious but achievable,” she said.

By 2027, operators of the trucks covered by the standards can expect to recoup costs between two and four years, depending on the type of vehicle, Ms. McCarthy added.

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks currently account for about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the country, but are only about five percent of the transportation sector, according to the EPA.

Along with the new rules, the administration announced $137 million in new Department of Energy (DOE) funding for energy-efficiency technology for trucks.

Detroit Free Press