Eaton announces support for new fuel economy and GHG emission standards

Eaton announces its support of the U.S. government drafting new fuel economy and GHG emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

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Power management company Eaton has announced its support of new deadlines on national fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including 18-wheelers, sanitation trucks, buses, and other large vehicles, as it works to inform regulators as they develop national fuel-saving rules.

The announcement by President Barack Obama calls for the next round of rules – which covers vehicles beyond model year 2018 and makes further cuts in fuel use and GHG – to be completed by the first quarter of 2016. Under the Presidential Memorandum, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) now have a timetable in which to achieve new savings. In 2012 under Phase I efforts, fuel efficiency gains and truck emission reductions of 20% were achieved which exceeded the original goal of a 15% reduction for each by 2020.

“Today’s technology is accelerating at an unprecedented pace, making the opportunity to deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas and fuel consumption a truly achievable objective,” says Ken Davis, President, Eaton Vehicle Group. “These goals and the ultimate outcomes from Phase II can be accomplished without compromising vehicle performance or inhibiting the choices the market or fleet customers have, given the wide array of current and future technologies available today and tomorrow. As a power management company, Eaton looks forward to continuing to work closely with the U.S. regulatory agencies to develop a successful Phase II program.”

Davis adds that some of the features that helped streamline compliance with Phase I regulations – such as a single national standard, regulatory certainty over time, and building on existing testing and certification protocols – should be continued in Phase II to assure its acceptance and implementation.

The Phase II rules will likely cover the “trailer” element of tractor-trailers, setting standards designed to ensure that trailers contribute to better gas mileage and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. With its portfolio of cost-effective hybrid and advanced drivetrain technologies, Eaton is providing customers with solutions that make vehicles more efficient while providing significant operational savings for its customers’ commercial vehicle fleets.

The EPA says heavy-duty vehicles are the transportation sector’s second-largest contributor to oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. EPA estimates Phase I will result in a net savings of $42 billion in fuel costs, even when the costs of compliance and new technologies are taken into account.