The Federal Government Should More Actively Promote Energy Conservation by Heavy Trucks

EMD-80-40: Published: Mar 13, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1980.

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Substantial energy savings are possible by improving the fuel efficiency of heavy trucks. Much has been done by industry to achieve savings; however, significant potential remains. The Federal Government can help maximize this potential through the Voluntary Truck and Bus Fuel Economy Program. This voluntary program was created to increase the awareness of conservation opportunities in the trucking industry and was founded on the basis that economic forces in the market place would drive voluntary conservation efforts.

The voluntary approach appears to be working. Within the trucking industry, carriers and manufacturers have sought ways to improve the fuel efficiency of trucks. Manufacturers have made equipment available. Many carriers have taken actions to cut their fuel consumption. As fuel prices rise and supplies tighten, the incentive to act is increased, but industry needs the information on which to base decisions concerning efficiency improvement.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Energy and Transportation should promptly execute a new memorandum of understanding. The Department of Energy (DOE) should have a role which assures that the voluntary program achieves its full potential, consistent with overall energy policy goals and objectives. The Department of Transportation should maintain its existing role, utilizing the relationship that already exists between it and the trucking industry. The memorandum should include the relationship to the Environmental Protection Agency and the role that research and development, particularly near-term applied research, is to play in support of program goals. DOE should have this research and development responsibility. The Secretaries should commit adequate funding and personnel to the program to support the roles detailed in the memorandum and an adequate level of effort to achieve the full potential of the program. Further, the Secretary of Energy should direct that the program receive a higher priority to maximize its effectiveness and ensure, through the Federal Energy Management Program, that all Federal agencies purchasing or operating trucks are aware of the energy saving measures available.

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