Fuel-Economy Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks Outlined

Fuel-Economy Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks Outlined
By Larry Edsall for PickupTrucks.com

"Work factor" attributes — including payload and towing capacity and whether a vehicle uses two- or four-wheel drive — will be used to determine new fuel economy standards for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans.

The federal government said today that its new regulations for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans will reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by model year 2018.

Although there will be separate standards for gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles, the new rules are expected to save one gallon of fuel for every 100 miles traveled by all heavy-duty pickups and vans.

Exact numbers have yet to be published because the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "are finalizing standards on a per-mile basis" that will be expressed in "grams per mile" from the EPA and "gallons per 100 miles traveled" from NHTSA.

Light-duty vehicles will be categorized by footprint — the wheelbase multiplied by average track width. HD pickups and vans, however, will be evaluated on a work-based metric that includes payload and towing capacity because "buyers consider these utility-based attributes when purchasing a heavy-duty pickup or van"” the federal agencies reported.

Along with payload and towing capacity, the "work factor" metric (expressed in pounds) accounts for whether a vehicle is equipped with two- or four-wheel drive (which, the regulations say, adds an average of 500 pounds to a vehicle’s weight).

While a specific miles-per-gallon figure may not yet be available, charts show that a 2014 model-year HD diesel rated at 8,000 work-factor pounds would be expected to use around 7.45 gallons per 100 miles traveled, with that number reduced to around 6.75 gallons per 100 miles for model year 2018.

For gasoline-fueled HD pickups with an 8,000-pound work factor, the 2014 figure would be around 8.40 gallons per 100 miles for 2014 and 7.80 gallons per 100 miles by 2018.

Government figures show that heavy-duty pickups and vans — those with gross vehicle weight ratings between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds in Class 2b and between 10,001 pounds and 14,000 pounds in Class 3 — are responsible for some 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the heavy-duty sector.

"About 90 percent of HD pickups and vans are three-quarter-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks, 12- and 15-passenger vans, and large work vans that are sold by vehicle manufacturers as complete vehicles, with no secondary manufacturer making substantial modifications prior to registration and use," the regulations report says. "These vehicle manufacturers are companies with major light-duty markets in the United States, primarily Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler.

"Furthermore, the technologies available to reduce fuel consumption and (greenhouse gas) emissions from this segment are similar to the technologies used on light-duty pickup trucks, including both engine efficiency improvements (for gasoline and diesel engines) and vehicle efficiency improvements.

"For these reasons, EPA believes it is appropriate to adopt (greenhouse gas) standards for HD pickups and vans based on the whole vehicle (including the engine), expressed as grams per mile, consistent with the way these vehicles are regulated by EPA today for criteria pollutants.

"NHTSA believes it is appropriate to adopt corresponding gallons per 100-mile fuel consumption standards that are likewise based on the whole vehicle."

Testing will be done on chassis dynos using city and highway test cycles.

The regulations suggest that vehicle enhancements needed to meet the new fuel economy targets — methods ranging from using lower-friction lubricants to reducing vehicle weight and from improving aerodynamics to using lower rolling-resistance tires — will add $165 to the price of a 2014 HD pickup, $215 in 2015, $422 for 2016, $631 for 2017 and $1,048 for a 2018 model.

The new regulations are the first for heavy-duty vehicles.

"Thanks to the Obama administration, for the first time in our history we have a common goal for increasing the fuel efficiency of the trucks that deliver our products, the vehicles we use at work, and the buses our children ride to school," U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector and promote energy independence for America."

Together with new rules for semitrucks and for "vocational" vehicles (delivery trucks, buses and garbage trucks), the heavy-duty truck regulations are expected to save 530 million barrels of oil, save vehicle owners an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs and bring an estimated $49 billion in “societal benefits,” such as improved air quality and reduced health costs, between 2014 and 2018.

While there will be increased upfront costs to buy vehicles that meet the new regulations, the government says a semitruck operation could see net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs over a vehicle’s life.

The new regulations take effect 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. Click here for the full rundown.

In addition to announcing its HD regulations, the DOT and EPA said they are considering regulation of trailers to reduce their drag when being towed.


I'm probably the exception but personally I'm glad manufacturers are being held accountable for fuel efficiencies and we can get away from the horsepower and torque wars.

Suprised 2014 HD fuel economy would only be 7.45gal/100mg (13.4mpg). Makes me wonder what they are today.

I would also like to say I really loathe gallons per 100 mile.

Low rolling resistance tires on trucks? No thanks. Stopping distances are already long enough.

Stay out of my life dead beat broke ass government !! its none of your buisness what fuel mileage truck , cars or mopeds get , butt out !!

Sounds like the truck manufactures have to do... nothing?? I don't see anyone getting below the 13.5mpg mark. Lowest i've seen with new 6.2 superduties is 10 towing. 14-15empty with the 6.2. Also factor the epa usually gets high numbers that they pull out their ass.

@taylor easy boy it's not that big of a deal...

@Ken I agree with you 100%
Trying living in Canada we use litres/100km
I can use and understand 99% of metric system
But fuel mileage just dosnt stick.

this is plain stupid obama noes noting, nor does those democrates supporting him, even more ridiculis thier going to start regulating trailers, what is this country coming too?

Tyler it's called 2012, thats what its'c comming too brother! And I for one can't wair to get rid of that no good 4 nothing carpetbager, and they have the gaul to call some people teabagers sheees, I guess they will never learn huh?, stent too much time in book and colleges learning notion but useless noting to do with life and real work, responsibility, and love of Country, that ___ had the nerve to bow down to the ragheaded dicktator in ejip?

This is really not bad my Ram 2500 is averaging 16mpg with a light foot and on highways cruise set to 70-75 mph.

The grammar, uneducated political statements on here, and just plain having almost no idea about politics make me laugh hysterically. For one this is a truck site, not a political site, and two, if your going to make a statement about politics you should take the effort to actually look up the facts before you start blaming a single person or party. Third, if you are going to call someone out for being dumb, you should really look into taking spelling lessons. Noting? buisness? democrates? ridiculis? dicktator?
ejip? Thank you for proving your own point of what they were learning in college (how to spell), even though most people should have had that pretty much mastered by high school.

Ken has it right, im glad they are taking a step in the right direction to improve fuel economy and safety.

I am going to pretend I didn't read the first 8 or 9 comments and focus on the article.

It does appear that all of these trucks will already hit those marks without doing anything. Does this mean they are going to be load tested Mike? Meaning putting 8000 lbs of weight on a trailer and then doing fuel economy ratings? That would make some sense to me.

I am puzzled - I get the impression that the ""work factor" metric (expressed in pounds)" would be loaded weight. These targets are going to be much harder to meet with a loaded truck.

Canada uses litres per 100 km as Roger pointed out. I have never been able to wrap my brain around that one. Good luck with gallons per 100 miles.

I do think mpg standards for all vehicles is a good thing. The topic of debate is - should it be the government setting the standards?

My biggest concern is the "grams per 100 mile" standard. Weird science and politics could strangle the auto industry on that one.

Who the hell invited Tucker to the party??

And Roger, I'd have to agree with you. L/100km means nothing to me. I just know that low is good, but I'm not exactly sure what a "good' low is. Not quite sure what was wrong with mpg though, Americans like to copy Canada?

I'm glad that some regulation is coming too the HD class....I'm a business owner who's had a 25% increase in fuel costs this year already. Make the manufacturers put some effort in making more efficient engines, pushing the current power figures up and up into an RPM(fuel sucking)range that my vehicles rarely see is ridiculous

America has the highest GDP per person. If we want to drive gaz guzzlers at extremely high prices, so be it. We should not be forced to increase mpgs or buy new models with extremely high price tags due to strict regulations and standards. The government often has our best interest at hearts but yet makes lfie difficult. Sometimes the best help is no help at all!

Man their is a lot of people here with hate in their hearts for a certain group of people and one person specifically and thats usually a dangerous thing when people are that way because it leads to hate flamed speech or actions which can cause someone to get hurt or cause a great divide in this country "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand" people havent learned from the AA+ credit rating "The only force strong enough to destroy America is democrats and republicans" thats why I am neither. People need to learn how to respectfully show they disagree and compromise.
I disagree with how this is being done because I would like for the govt. to make sure of 3 things first 1. that automakers have the technology to meet the standard 2. that the technology is something that people want (not just something that meets govt. standards) 3. its something people can afford because I think they should do all those things before setting a standard if you set one at all.

@ Roger
Truck makers and trailer makers are already doing this they dont need the gun filled fist of the dead beat government telling them to do it , its called trailer fairings and aerodynamics and the laws of free market economics .

Doesn't sound like a big deal at all.

and blame them for it all.time to ask yourself who is running are job off or making them go under.

I agree with 5.3 LOL

@ Lou and @Roger I am a Pre-metric" when it comes to heights and weights. I find I am converting metric to imperial measures all the time. L/100km? MPG is easier to conceptualise.

@ trv.dot ,

The United states was going to start to use the metric system in the late 1970's,Canada decided to jump ahead of the States and by 1978 we started metric,cars,businesses ect...It was very expensive to change everything over to metric,thats why the U.S never converted,we have to thank Premier.Trudeau for jumping ahead of the States to convert over,a Liberal he really screwed us,and we dont like it,as we go by weight,height in pounds still and when it snows,rains alot its still inches.....

It is well known the Democrats are against vehicles (telling us to take the bus,ride a bike,drilling for oil is bad),especially with these new mpg requirements.Trucks will shrink,tow less ect.

It is not good for the government to be heavily involved in the automotive world,they mess it up.It isnt going to help if your car gets 55 mpg,your truck gets 30 mpg,and the price of gas is $25 a gallon !! This will happen,you wont be further ahead but behind more,furthermore you will have a Smart car style car and your truck wont be much better,so you still like the new rules ? Remember your Pres. said he will sky rocket electricity rates under his plan !! Politics do play a big role in the automotive world,Liberals dont want you to drive and the Republicans want you to drive,car/truck and be free !!


If you need a truck for towing you need more h.p and torque ! And remember when trucks had 150 hp and 200 ftlbs of torque and only weighed 4000 lbs,they only got 8 mpg !!! Why now do you want them to be held accountable ?Sounds like you should take the bus,but then under these new rules,busses will get smaller !!!! Why should they be held accountable ? If you dont want a heavy duty truck getting 15 mpg,dont buy one !!!! You should be held accountable for making ignorant statements !!!! Do you want the government controlling every aspect of your daily life ?

Look at the Semi's they have more power,more torque and they get better mpg than they did years ago when they had less powerful engines,and they run cleaner today.

@Lou- to convert from (US)mpg to l/100km take 235/x. this works both directions. for mpg to gal/100mi, it would be simply 100/x, as in 100 divided by 20mpg equals 5gal/100mi

The problem isn't necessarily the fuel economy of 1-ton pickups... the problem is all the soccer moms you see driving them to Walmart and all the guys you see driving them daily to work with nothing in the bed and nothing hooked to the bumper. People are buying 2500 and 3500 trucks because a few weekends a year they might tow their jet skis to the lake. It's B.S. If people bought what they really NEED in this country, that alone would save more barrels of oil than any government mandates combined.

Can we attempt to get back on track here?!

It appears that the industry will be able to increase MPG's (or decrease gallons used per 100 miles) with very minimal cost. With less than one year's typical inflation (on a $40k truck) we should increase fuel economy by about 10-15% which will be a big help as China (as well as the other BRIC countries) starts to consume far greater amounts of oil. Driving up costs.

I think truck capacities are basically tapped out where they are now (heck even Mike Levine had to get a CDL just to do the 1 ton shoot out because of the capacities on today's trucks). Now the new game for Detroit will be who can make their truck the most efficient and cost effective, which is a race I will welcome.

I know I'm going to get the hate response, but here goes: Climate change doesn't care whether you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican or independent, it's going to nail us all. This is what the science shows over and over, and it doesn't matter what you believe. Science also shows that we're close to peak oil production in the world, that there isn't much more to find, that most of it is in unstable areas and it's getting more expensive to get it. None of this has anything to do with politics only the responses seem to go with politics.
One role of government should be to protect us from each other.Why should I suffer because you want to pollute air and warm the planet? That's one reason the government needs to put controls on fuel usage.
The market suffers from short term vision, and even when corporations know what needs to be done, they are afraid to be the first because they might lose money. Government requirements even the playing field. Please note that the Obama Administration did confer with automakers and industry before setting these standards.
I'm all for fuel economy standards, even when it costs me more for the vehicle because it makes the world a better place to live. Anyone who disagrees should investigate what kind of pollution we had in the early 60's before there was any regulation.

I own a 2007 5.9 Cummins Quad Cab Dodge Ram 2500 4x4

I tow a 9500lb camper 3 times a month, drive 60 miles roundtrip daily to work with it, haul firewood and mulch many times a year, take it hunting, go offroading, etc etc.

Basically, I use a truck and it functions as my all in one do everything vehicle. I have never had a vehicle aside from my Ram 2500 that I could honestly say I use for EVERYTHING I do with a vehicle.

If the government/EPA wants to improve things, then show me something with comparable specs (power, tq, payload, tow capacity) to my truck in an alternative fuel that would actually be realistic, is affordable and can get the job done. Until then, quit ruining America with your BS. All you do is come up with laughable alternatives that end up costing the consumer twice as much.

What are we going to sacrifice for this "improvement"? Are the trucks going to be made lighter, with less strong parts? I've seen this happen with pickup beds going aluminum or thin steel, and seeing beds pushed out from a rack.

"If people bought what they really NEED in this country" well in this country people have the right to buy what they can afford nobody needs a 15 bed mansion or a corvette. So how do some of you have the nerve to tell someone what they can buy with their money and scream freedom and we hate liberals.

I could use one of these


I agree with mhowarth. Trucks are able to carry and pull huge loads. Why go bigger?
This whole "mine is bigger than yours" war is extreme.
The next battle field does need to be MPG.
Prices of fuel will go up regardless of politics.

If global warming is true and the ice caps melt - we'll just be blogging and arguing over who makes the better boat.
My Ram 5.7 Hemi jet boat is faster than your Silverado speed boat, or my EB 3.5 F150 craft can float more beer than yours:)

@mrknowitall - thanks for the conversion factor, but I alrready know how to convert over.

@Robert Ryan - pre-metric? me too. I'm s till used to working with 2x4 lumber, and I still think in pounds. I have no problems with Celcius, and kilometers. The whole litres/100 km thing is counter-intuitive (at least to me).

I've always wondered why all the American made vehicles,most of which will never go beyond North America, switched over to Litres displacement instead of Cubic inch.
Any answers?

@ Lou

Because all of our engineers come from foreign countries as our students that don't end up flipping burgers went on to be bankers to rip off those engineers from other countries. ;)

(I am sure someone is going to have a field day with that comment)

In all seriousness though, my Cigarette boat with twin 1000 hp motors would eat your little boat alive!!!!! Oh wait, that is just another hp race........

If an additional $165 per vehicle generates long term fuel conservation then I whole heartedly agree with these mandates. DEF systems reduce emmisions 80% from my earlier truck? Fantastic.
If meeting all these mandates causes the makers to get rid of all the expensive features- even better.

TtTtuckar its might b thepublick edumacations i'f goton from mie guvment sckool? if you can't see what I was saying how can you say you can see anything at all on your own? just what the idiots are telling you, and you believe them, so what I can't spell that great, but I can read, and history, no accient history tells us that ice ages and hot drought, arrid times have come an gone through-out all time, some of us believe a story about an Ark, who is to know what realy happened? people were very , I don't know, you would say dumb? back then, I would say il-informed, un-edumacated hehe, even I can see what is plain as day, those carpetbagers have an agenda, they will tell you something and you believe them? who is the dumb one huh? Have you ever heard of solar flares? Man made global warming is something in al gores mind, some diabolical? means to an end, how can you believe him, he lives in a 20,000+ sqft house, anouther hippocrate (rymes with demmocrate)


My work truck is a DRW 1 ton even though a 1/2 ton can do the job just fine so sue me. There's probably a 'class action' or two you could join. Truth is most days I could get by with a Geo Metro but I don't see YOU living in a teardrop camper pulled around by a '94 Taurus you share with you wife. This is America babe... BMW's biggest market outside of Germany... no wait, that includes Germany! I get the most sneers from drivers of luxury cars when I'm at the mall in my just detailed, lifted King Ranch dually, BTW. Gawd it love it!


Not all of us here have perfect 'spellmanship' nor political science majors but pointing that out is off topic and really says you're out of relevant material.

@mhowarth - but I can lift my boat myself, so there.
(I better not mention it is 12 ft. long, made of aluminum, and only has 9.9 hp)
Hey - its a hybrid.
I'm saving the planet since I also have an electric boat motor.
That more then compensates for all of that unburnt 2 stroke oil that ends up in the water.

There is some sad truth to the first part of your post.

Back on topic - I forgot, what was the topic?

@ canadian dodge ram owner

Please leave the politics out of it...We(Canada) didn't convert to metric because a "Liberal screwed us" we were one of the last nations to convert. I'm not so sure napoleon was a liberal but he was a proponent of metric.


As for not liking metric who says we don't? I have issues with
some of it i.e. Mpg and use a mix of both imperial and Metric.

"It is well known the Democrats are against vehicles (telling us to take the bus,ride a bike,drilling for oil is bad)"

Where have you been? Do you not know the relationship between auto unions and the dems ?
As for encouraging us to ride bikes take buses what's so bad about that? Doesn't mean you have to give up your truck or car. And name one democrat elected that said drilling oil is bad? Maybe in certain areas but certainly not on the whole.

Stop this fear mongering and sound bites that twist the real truth. As for being free or not free under certain party's you should really Read some history and then blabber about who takes away freedoms...


now back to trucks...I'll take a liberal oil burner that gets 40
MPG highway of course....

@sandman 4x4

You must mean hypocrite ? Which doesn't rhyme with Democrat. Hippocrates was a Greek physician. Read much?
Or should I say source much?

As for al Gore his home was/is solar powered. But yeah if it is 20,000 sq/ft that's a bit much. And I think global warming is also in any scientist head that's not paid by big oil.

Shouldn't republicans who claim to be conservative want to conserve? And democrats liberal with there fuel usage?

I wish "canadian dodge ram owner" would drop the "Canadian" part of his " Nom de Guerre".
He makes the rest of us Socialist, bleeding heart Canadians look bad.
Too bad those Conservatives blocked the decriminalization of marijuana.
A bag of pot is still sold by the 1/4 ounce.
The Hells Angels must of missed that memo on the change over to metric.
2x4's are now 5x10 even though they are actually 1-1/2" x 3-1/2".
Water freezes at 32 F and boils at 212 F.
That is so much more simple than water freezing at 0C and boiling at 100 C.
North America needs to give ourselves back to the British.
That would speed up getting Euro-diesels, cool Euro sports cars, and maybe Top Gear would stop making fun of American sports cars.
We need a man like Margaret Thatcher to get things back in order.

Roger: I guess all egg-heads don't get satire? unless it's from a lefty perspective huh? Yea I can't spell too well, and my typing is a challange, but I do the best I can with what the NEA has provided me with, I've tried, Lord knows I have , but, at least I can and do read, as much as time allows, and no matter how it is spelled, a hipporcrate (hypocrite) is still a hipocrate (rymes with democrate), or anyone who tells us to ride a bike and drive a prius, while they jet around this great Country of ours and drive in caravans (not the mini van), and have 1000hp boats or any boat bigger than reason (sail-boats excluded). You need to smile more profesor! What is it called letterary liscence? oops can't spell, I'm sorry Miss Heaton, please no more detention.

I rest my case.

@Roger - the only time I pick on someone's spelling is if someone has been insulting another person.

Perhaps we should type our responses into "Word", then hit spell check,and then cut and past into this site?

@Roger - do you have an opinion on trucks or does your expertise stop at grammar and politics?

I do too Rog! Roger an out oh wait thats you line huh? (I wonder if he can take a joke) Thats anouther thing, I realy don't know how to opperate a computer, word? Roger look up satire in the Funk an Wagnolls (dictionary) get a clue


Has me missing Jimmy Carter more each day!!!!!


Not sure why Ken loathes gallons per 100 miles.

MPG is good for knowing how far you can drive on a tank of gas, or if you're down to your last gallon. That's useful.

But when you're buying trucks and comparing them on MPG, it's hard to figure out the value of going from 13 to 16 to 18 to 21 MPG. All the differences look small. Gallons per hundred miles makes this easy to figure out--and figure out the gas savings:

13=7.7 gallons
16=6.25 gallons
18=5.55 gallons
21=4.76 gallons

If you can save 2 gallons every hundred miles, that's 200 to 300 per year of driving, or $800 to $1,200.

The use of gallons per 100 miles has nothing to do with the metric system. It's a gas consumption metric that makes comparing vehicles easier.

Bumping up from 13 to 16 MPG saves more gas than going from 33 to 50 MPG (=1 gallon).

These new regulations won't save anybody anything. By 2014, diesel will probably be near $5.00 per gallon, and with the new "fuel saving technology" employed to meet gov't standards, HD trucks and vans will be that much more expensive to buy. It won't even make a difference how much you save on fuel over the life of the vehicle. Whatever you save in mileage, will go toward higher fuel costs/higher new HD truck and van prices. Just more political garbage meant to put a stronghold on EVERY aspect of private industry.

Thease Liberal Tree Huggers need to stay out of my buisness becaulse its none of their buisness how bad a fuel milage my diesel gets. They are the reason the best diesel engine was killed off and every one who knows diesels know what im talking about the legandary 7.3 (444) Powerstroke. What else do thease Tree Hugger hippies want. they already are making us pay $4.00 a gallon of diesel in a poor city in South East Georgia. This is to the government BUTT OUT or GET OUT. "GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH"

You should support a class-action lawsuit only if you have veritable grounds. Otherwise you may end up with a penalty instead of a windfall.

The comments to this entry are closed.