In its efforts to increase the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks, the U.S. government now has a partner in its neighbor to the north.
Canada plans to echo upcoming U.S. efficiency standards for large trucks, which account for a disproportionate amount of fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
The two countries' standards already align in certain areas, but the new agreement will extend that cooperation.
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The U.S. and Canada will commit to an extension of "aligned greenhouse gas emissions standards for post-2018 model year on-road heavy-duty vehicles," a jointly-released statement said.
A finalized U.S. version of these standards--called "Phase 2" by the EPA--is expected to be released this summer.
It succeeds "Phase 1" efficiency standards that apply to trucks for model years 2014 through 2018.
2014 Peterbilt 579Enlarge Photo
That figures is a calculated fleet average for manufacturers, and works out to around 40 mpg in the real world.
But addressing the efficiency of heavy-duty trucks is also important, because these vehicles cover many more miles than the average passenger car, with much worse fuel economy.
MORE: Obama Tells EPA To Set Next Heavy-Duty Truck Fuel-Efficiency Rule (Feb 2014)
Heavy trucks emit 23 percent of carbon pollution in the transportation sector, but only represent four percent of vehicles on the road, notes the National Resources Defense Council.
The current Phase 1 rules were passed in 2011, and call for a 10- to 20-percent increase in fuel economy, depending on the class of vehicle.
President Barack Obama first proposed followup Phase 2 rules in 2014, and they've been under study since.
Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 concept, 2014 Hannover Commercial Vehicle ShowEnlarge Photo
The alignment on truck fuel-economy standards was one of several joint environmental actions that came out of recent meetings between President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The two leaders also pledged to enthusiastically implement the Paris climate-change agreement, cut emissions of methane and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and cooperate on other environmental initiatives.