February 19, 2014
Responding to yesterday’s announcement by President Obama regarding the 2018 EPA fuel economy and emission standards, Sandeep Kar, global automotive and transportation research director at Frost & Sullivan, notes the standards could be a “pain” in the short-term but in the long-run will give the American trucking industry a leg up in the global market and reduce total cost of ownership for fleets.
“The President’s decision to elevate fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks is definitely a strategic move. While it presents short-term pain for the industry, it will indeed deliver long-term gain both locally and globally,” says Kar. “Trucks featuring better fuel-efficiency and economy will cost higher than the current breed of trucks, but will deliver reduced fuel expenses for fleets thereby reducing life-cycle costs and hence total cost off ownership, while simultaneously reducing freight transportation’s carbon footprint.”
While the standards are not yet formalized, Kar says it will be safe to assume the proposed limits could be met through some technologies that are already in the market.
“Fuel costs have already become the most expensive portion of a fleet’s operating expenses, and any change that reduces fuel costs in a volatile fuel price environment will be welcomed by the end-users,” he says. “This will give a unique edge to American truck and powertrain systems markers to develop once, test once, and sell advanced fuel-efficiency enhancement technologies and products all over the world in the next five to ten years, as global emission regulations get harmonized with North American and European standards.”
He adds, “While these mandates will challenge OEMs and tier-1 suppliers, I feel that this is not an insurmountable challenge and one that will pay rich dividends to all corners of the American trucking industry.”