In its 100+ years roaming the earth, the automobile hasn’t changed very much. Most automobiles continue to use some form of internal-combustion engine and gearbox in order to turn two or more wheels, propelling the vehicle forward.
Among the most notable things that haven’t remained constant with regard to the automobile is its quantity of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s partly due to emissions standards set forth by groups like the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency, which has just proposed another significant standard set to affect all medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles from the 2021 model year through 2027.
Motor Trend reports that the latest proposed emissions standards would cover semi trucks, large pickups, vans, buses, and work trucks, and the proposal is designed to cut those vehicles’ emissions of carbon dioxide and consumption of gasoline by some 24 percent.
Over the course of the affected vehicles’ lifetime, that would mean an estimated reduction of about 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide resulting from the proposed emissions standards. Fuel costs would naturally also decline, by about $170 billion, according to the EPA.
Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles constitute about 5 percent of all vehicles on the road in the US, and yet contribute an estimated 20 percent of the country’s oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA’s new proposed emissions standards would allow for some flexibility with regard to how manufacturers want to hit their eco-conscious targets, whether it be through lowering parasitic losses from the transmission or tire rolling-resistance, aerodynamics, engine efficiency, or some combination of the aforementioned.