October 25, 2010 16:08 ET

Draft Report Calls for Additional Policies and Incentives for Efficient Trucks Needed to Support New EPA Rule

EPA's New Rule for Truck Emissions and Efficiency an Important First Step: Smart Policies and Incentives Can Ensure Faster Fuel and Emission Reductions, Grow American Jobs, Says CALSTART

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - October 25, 2010) -  CALSTART today applauded the truck efficiency and emissions standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but said that a more comprehensive federal approach is needed to ensure that trucks become even more efficient and the U.S. remains competitive in the advanced truck manufacturing sector.

"These standards are a good first step toward cleaner and more efficient trucks. And, it's important to remember that this is the first time the government is requiring that the heavy-duty vehicle sector do what has been asked in the past from the passenger car market: use advanced technology to help reduce our dependence on oil and cut global warming emissions," said CALSTART's President and CEO, John Boesel.

Boosting the fuel economy of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles could create more than 120,000 new jobs nationwide by 2030, curb U.S. oil dependence, and save truckers thousands of dollars annually at the gas pump, according to a report released this summer by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and CALSTART. Using existing and emerging fuel-saving technology, the United States could save four times more oil on an annual basis by 2030 than the volume expected from expanded offshore drilling in that same year.

In order to support and complement the new standards, a diverse cross section of medium and heavy duty fleets, manufacturers and suppliers are recommending a suite of complementary policies and incentives to help speed the purchase and production of cleaner, more efficient trucks. These critical supporting policies are designed to ensure that the regulations succeed in transforming the trucking sector.

The initial policy recommendations are being developed in a task force of leading fleets, manufacturers, and suppliers and should be available in November. The key draft elements include:

  (1)   streamlined purchase incentives to reduce the cost of the new technology for first mover fleets;
  (2)   long term federal R&D funding for sustained development of new fuel economy tech and fuels; and
  (3)   assistance to truck suppliers and manufacturers to build advanced truck and bus production capacity.

The recommendations, still in draft form, enjoy broad industry support and were developed under an effort led by CALSTART.

Boesel noted that the success of these standards will require a full partnership between industry and government, including a suite of complementary policies. "Ultimately, the truck industry and truck users support stronger regulation and more efficient trucks, but to get there they also need support from a comprehensive policy package that includes both carrots and sticks," said Boesel.

The draft recommendations also include the recognition that incentives should encourage and reward solutions that yield multiple environmental benefits over those that only address a single need. The draft recommendations would encourage performance-based rather than technology-specific goals, with greater funding going to those solutions that provide higher overall benefits.

Funding for the report, "Policies and Incentives for High Efficiency Heavy Duty Vehicles," was provided by the Energy Foundation. The final report is expected to be released in November.

CALSTART is the only organization working on a national level to support the entire clean transportation technology industry. CALSTART has 140 member companies representing a broad array of clean vehicles, fuels, and technologies. CALSTART provides services and consulting help to spur advanced transportation technologies, fuels, systems and the companies that make them. With its headquarters in Pasadena, CALSTART has offices in Richmond, California and Denver, Colorado. For more information visit:

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    MK Campbell